Celtics outlast Wizards in Game 7, advance to take on Cavs

Celtics outlast Wizards in Game 7, advance to take on Cavs

BOX SCORE

BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas scored 29 points and had 12 assists, Kelly Olynyk scored a career-playoff high 26 points and the Boston Celtics used a big fourth quarter to outlast the Washington Wizards 115-105 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night.

Boston advances to the Eastern Conference finals, where it will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 on Wednesday.

"What a special opportunity to get a chance to compete against them," Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

Led by Olynyk the Celtics got a huge lift from their bench, outscoring their Wizards' counterparts 48-5. Boston also connected on 11 3-pointers, including 8 of 13 in the second half.

"Everyone gave their best tonight and it turned out well," Olynyk said. "It was a team effort, hard work. It was a tough seven-game series. Both teams played hard, we outlasted them there. They are a great team. They made big shots all series."

Bradley Beal led the Wizards, which was playing it its first Game 7 since 1979 with 38 points, including 24 in the second half.

Otto Porter added 20 points. John Wall and Markieff Morris each finished with 18. But Washington also had 15 turnovers, leading to 17 Celtics' points.

Boston trailed 76-72 late in the third quarter before ending the period on a 13-3 spurt. The run grew to 22-5 in the opening minutes of the fourth as the Celtics' lead became 94-81.

But Washington quickly responded, scoring seven straight in just 51 seconds to get back within six.

Washington stayed close as Beal continued to score, including a four-point play. But Olynyk then took over. He scored 11 of 13 points for Boston as the Celtics stretched their advantage to 110-100.

"I knew it would come down to the last six minutes of the game," Washington coach Scott Brooks said. "They had that little run at the start of the fourth quarter."

Both teams were a little tight in the early going with neither team scoring a field goal in the first two minutes of action.

The Celtics had the largest lead of the first half at 10-2, but that gap was quickly erased by Washington as Boston started to rack up fouls.

Marcus SmartAmir Johnson and Olynyk all were whistled for three fouls in the opening 24 minutes, though Smart did inject some life into a second unit that outscored their Wizards' counterparts 19-5.

Wall and Beal each were beneficiaries scoring eight and nine points, respectively in the second quarter to help the Wizards take a two-point lead into halftime.

TIP-INS:
Wizards: Dropped to 6-5 all-time in Game 7s. ... Still have not reached a conference final since 1979. ... Outrebounded the Celtics 43-31.

Celtics: Improved to 22-8 all-time in Game 7s and 19-4 all-time at home. ...Outscored the Wizards 58-40 in the paint. ... Lost season series to Cleveland 3-1.

 

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

OAKLAND -- The hoops historian Draymond Green has a message for those with short memories and cynical outlooks.

The NBA is never better than when The Finals have legendary potential, as is the case with the Warriors and Cavaliers, who next week become the first teams to meet three consecutive seasons to determine a champion.

“It’s a great thing for the league, contrary to popular belief,” Green said Friday after Warriors practice.

Warriors-Cavs Part III is, in fact, a fantastic boon for the league. Interest will peak. Ratings will soar. Storylines will cascade down every mountain, knoll and molehill.

“Right now, you’re witnessing greatness -- two great teams, great players,” Green said. “That’s what it is. It probably won’t be appreciated until it’s over. Say we meet again next year? It still won’t be appreciated -- until we don’t meet again and you realize what you had.”

What fans have is history made, with more in the making.

The Warriors enter The Finals after an unprecedented 12-0 start to the playoffs, becoming the first team to complete three four-game sweeps in a single postseason.

Another sweep, and it’s not inconceivable, would make these Warriors the first team in NBA history with a perfect postseason -- give them the distinction of having the best postseason in American sports history.

The Cavaliers enter The Finals after a 12-1 start and, moreover, with the reheated debate over whether LeBron James has a body of work that equals or surpasses that of Michael Jordan. James is one game removed from surpassing Jordan to become No. 1 on the all-time list for playoff scoring and will make his seventh consecutive appearance in The Finals, something Jordan never did.

Though a Cleveland victory would bolster any argument in James’ favor, a Cleveland loss might be enough to close the case in Jordan’s favor insofar as his Bulls reached six NBA Finals and won them all.

Warriors-Cavaliers has the potential to go beyond what most believe to be the most epic of postseason rivals, that being the Magic Johnson and the Lakers versus Larry Bird and the Celtics. They met only three times (1984, ’85 and ’87) but the NBA went a full 10 seasons with one team or the other in The Finals.

Being a student of the game, Green quite likely knows that -- as well as having a complete understanding of the possibilities ahead.

Even if he suspects others may not.

“But you usually don’t appreciate something until you don’t have it any more,” he said. “Maybe there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness. When you look at the situation, most people have never reached greatness. So, maybe there’s just not an understanding of what you’re watching.

“I appreciate it. I’m happy we’ve been able to steam-roll people, and I love the fact that they’ve been able to steam-roll people. I just love great things. And I think right now we’ve found two great teams.”

Ayesha Curry shows off rap skills with Steph and E-40 on stage

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AP

Ayesha Curry shows off rap skills with Steph and E-40 on stage

Steph Curry has earned the nickname "Chef Curry" but his wife Ayesha is the real cook of the family.

Ayesha has paved her own path as a successful cook and was brought to BottleRock in Napa for a demonstration. As Steph and rapper E-40 joined her on stage, Ayesha took one of out of E-40's book and did her own remix of Drake's "Energy." 

In this version, Ayesha rapped about what she knows best -- recipes. 

All hyped up, Ayesha dropped the mic to the delight of Steph and E-40 himself.