"If Kelly doesn't go nuts and they throw in a couple more threes, we're not talking about the next step", the Celtics coach said after Kelly Olynyk's huge game off the bench led Boston into the Eastern Conference finals with a 115-105 Game 7 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night. Before this, Olynyk's playoff career-high was just 14 points - the same amount he scored in the fourth quarter alone.
Thomas scored 29 points and dished out a playoff career-high 12 assists, while Al Horford had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, Jae Crowder 14 points and five boards and Marcus Smart 13 points, six rebounds and four assists in the win.
In addition to facing LeBron James in the upcoming series between the Celtics and Cavaliers, the matchup between Thomas and Cleveland's Kyrie Irving could go a long way in deciding who wins the Eastern Conference finals. "I was just happy he took it with confidence and you could see from the second it left his hand, it's going in". "The game wasn't always what we wanted it to be and it wasn't a flawless game". The run grew to 22-5 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as the Celtics' lead became 94-81. Both teams played hard, we outlasted them there.
Now it's time for Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld to get these young, talented guards - who have seemingly worked through whatever chemistry issues plagued them in the past - help in the frontcourt and off the bench.
"The only other way I can really process is I wish I would have played better", Wall said slowly.
Boston, keeping the home-court dominance of the season series intact, trailed by five with 5:39 left in the third quarter but outscored the Wizards 21-9 over the remainder of the period. While this is a brutal way to end his season, Wall can hold his head high after leading his team to a 49-33 record with averages of 23.1 points, 10.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.1 3-pointers.
The Wizards' run in the National Basketball Association playoffs had been filled with highlight-reel moments from John Wall, in particular.
On Monday night, the Celtics stood tall on the dramatic, nerve-infested stage that is an Eastern Conference semifinal Game 7. I love the way he plays, I love the way he competes, and he's only gonna get better.
"He just made shots", Wizards center Marcin Gortat said of Olynyk.
"We know it's going to be tough, but at this point, anything can happen, and we really believe it", Thomas said.
Entering Monday, the Wizards were 6-2 this postseason when Wall and Beal combined to score at least 50 points.
Game 7: Monday, May 29, 8:30 p.m.
Olynyk, not known to be light on his toes, danced around the Wizards for four acrobatic layups that were scattered throughout the night.
"We needed to help the starters, help with Isaiah", he said.
"I knew it would come down to the last six minutes of the game", Washington coach Scott Brooks said. "They're going to bring it and try to pick us apart and take advantage of certain matchups". Lost season series to Cleveland 3-1. The Cavs won three out of the four games.