John Wall’s Late Three Forces Game 7
John Wall lead the Wizards to victory over the Celtics with 3 point basket late in the 4th quarter to tie the playoff series 3-3. Robert Eubanks/DC Sports Box file photo
WASHINGTON, D.C. - 0-10. That was the current record of teams facing elimination on their home court during this year’s playoffs. The Wizards hadn’t won a home elimination game since 1997, losing 7 straight, which was the longest such streak in NBA history.
 
The Wizards’ shot 17% from three-point line for the game with under eight seconds remaining. None of those facts mattered to John Wall.

Coming out of a timeout with 7.7 seconds left in the game and the Wizards down by 1, the team put the ball in the hands of their All-Star and he got it done. With 3.5 seconds left, Wall launched a 26-footer and knocked in the pull-up trey to give the Wizards a 92-91 lead. After a last second heave from Isaiah Thomas clanked off the rim, the Wizards could finally breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate their victory. And celebrate they did as Wall hopped on the scorer’s table and embraced the crowd’s cheers.

“To get on the scorer’s table it was for how much love I have for this city, how much love I have for my teammates, how much fight we have,” said Wall. “Never quitting. A lot of people doubted us in this series, after going down 2-0. A lot of guys doubted us winning this game at home.”

Doubt seemed to creep through the home crowd, at least momentarily, after the Celtics took an 87-82 advantage with 1:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. At that point, the Celtics had a 93 percent probability of winning, according to Inpredictable.

Coming out of a timeout with the score tied at 82, Thomas came up big for the Celtics hitting an 18-foot step back jumper and followed it up with a 25-foot pull-up three to put the Celtics up 87-82. On the next two Celtics possessions, Thomas committed two errors, first giving up the ball on a bad pass leading to a Bradley Beal three-point to pull the Wizards within 2.

On the next Celtics’ possession, Thomas had his shot blocked by Wall, who then drove the ball down court, drawing a foul at the rim. Wall hit both free throws, tying the game at 87 and forcing a Celtics timeout. Avery Bradley and Beal traded shots before Al Horford hit a 16-foot bank shot to put the Celtics up 91-89 with 7.7 seconds remaining, before the decisive Wall three-pointer.

Wall, Beal, and Markieff Morris came up big for the Wizards in the second half, combining for all of the team’s 51 second-half points. After going 1-for-9 from the field in the first half, Wall finished with 26 points, 23 coming in the second half, to go along with 8 assists. Beal led all scorers with 33 points to go with 5 assists. Morris added 16 points and 11 rebounds.  

Thomas and Bradley led the way for the Celtics with 27 points each. Al Horford added 20 points and 6 rebounds.


With Game 7 on Monday, both teams will be fighting for the right to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals. The Wizards haven’t reached the Eastern Conference Finals since 1979, when the team advanced to the NBA Finals.


Morris’ formula for victory in Game 7 is simple, “Just like tonight, we have to have the will to win. Knowing that we're on the road we have to play great. We have to be on call for everything. We can't let plays go by, every possession is going to count.”


Funeral Game Take 2:


After the Wizards dressed in all-black in a January regular season game that was dubbed the “funeral game,” the Celtics arrived in all-black attire for Game 6.


After the game, Wall mentioned how he was fired up about the all-black attire saying, “Don’t come to my city wearing all black talking about, ‘It’s a funeral.’”


Wizards Coach Scott Brooks had a more humorous take on the Celtics’ fashion choice. “I’m going to talk to my lawyers. I think we have that trademarked, right?”


Wizards Notes:

The Wizards started the third quarter 0-for-9 from the field after ending the first half without a field goal over the last 3+ minutes of the second quarter.


Beal was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc before hitting a three-pointer late in the fourth to pull the Wizards within 2, 87-85.


The Wizards improved to 6-0 at home in the playoffs.


Celtics Notes:


The Celtics went into halftime with a 42-41 lead despite having their worst statistical first half in the playoffs (14-for-40 from the field).