Celtics outlast Wizards in Game 7, move on to face Cavs

Isaiah Thomas top scored with 29 points, adding 12 assists, while Kelly Olynyk registered a post-season best of 26.

Ever since the Boston Celtics broke up their Big Three in 2013, they've sat idly this time of year while LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard have battled for National Basketball Association championships. Game one of that series tips off on Thursday at 10.30am (AEST).

Well, everyone expected the Celtics' role players to step up at home, but no one could have foreseen a 26-point explosion from Kelly Olynyk.

In the first two rounds of the playoffs, James' efficiency has been off the charts, as he has averaged 34.4 points (second-most for his playoff career) on 55.7 percent shooting, making 46.8 percent of his 3-pointers and getting to the free-throw line 11.5 times per game.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards, which was playing it its first Game 7 since 1979 with 38 points, including 24 in the second half. John Wall and Markieff Morris each finished with 18. Another Achilles heel of the Celtics revealed itself in the first seven minutes, as four turnovers led to seven Wizards points.

Washington did respond to Boston's run with a 7-0 run to climb back into it, but they were never able to get over the hump.

The 3-pointer wasn't working for either team early on. He abused the Celtics on the interior - he made none of his six perimeter shots, but repeatedly overpowered Boston defenders on his way to the basket.

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The Celtics' bench outscored Washington's reserves, 48-5.

The Wizards were down 3-2 going into Saturday Night's game in Washington.

A quick burst from Boston soon pushed its advantage to 13 points, but it didn't last long, as a well-taken timeout from Scott Brooks settled down the Wizards, and they got right back into the game. The Celtics will try thick, wide-bodied Jae Crowder, and the Cavs will run James through pick-and-rolls when they do.

The turning point of the game came as the Wizards held a 76-72 lead with a little over four minutes remaining in the third quarter. But Olynyk then took over. But make no mistake - the Celtics want to win now.

Aside from fouls, the Celtics especially were troubled in the rebounding department, as the Wizards outrebound the C's 23-14 through two quarters.

The Celtics open the Eastern finals against the Cavaliers Wednesday night at TD Garden at 8:30. "It feels great. You dream of winning a Game 7, in the Garden", Thomas said after the win. In Game 6 Thomas scored more than 20 points for the first time since his 53-point game in Game 2. Olynyk said after the game that Brad Stevens told him, "You have to be at your best when your best is needed", and Olynyk was certainly at his best Monday night.

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