May 19, 2017 by Hayley Roth
The Boston Celtics traveled to Washington May 12 for Game 6 in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Washington Wizards.
After Game 5, the Celtics were leading the series 3-2. A win during this game for them would’ve sealed their spot in the conference finals, but the Wizards came out on top 92-91 to force Game 7.
Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas were the leading scorers for the Celtics with 27 points each. Bradley also hit 10-18 from the floor and made three of his six three-pointers.
Isaiah Thomas made five three-pointers throughout the game. Al Horford had 20 points, making 8-12 of his shots from the floor with two three-pointers. Bradley, Thomas, and Horford all made every free throw shot they were awarded for extra points.
Jae Crowder and Kelly Olynyk each had seven defensive rebounds in the contest.
The Wizards led at the end of the first quarter which was no surprise in Washington. These two teams both won on their home courts and lost on the road in the series thus far.
The Celtics still trailed behind the Wizards during the first three minutes of the second quarter. With 8:27 left in the second quarter, the Celtics tied the score 26-26 with a three-pointer from Avery Bradley.
With 44.5 seconds to play in the second quarter, the score was tied 40-40. A big alley-oop dunk from Bradley helped the Celtics lead heading into halftime 42-41.
Boston controlled the third quarter leading into the fourth 69-66, but the Wizards weren’t ready to let their conference finals dream slip away just yet.
With 28.7 seconds left in the game, the score was tied 89-89. Horford hit a jump shot with 7.9 seconds to go to put the Celtics up by two, but Wall hit a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left to play that sealed the deal for the Wizards.
The final quarter was filled with six ties and nine lead changes which was a much tighter matchup than Game 5. Each team was fighting for the chance to make it to the conference finals.
On May 15, Game 7 was hosted in Boston, Massachusetts. The series was tied 3-3 for these two teams with the winner of this game moving on to the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics pulled off a 115-105 win. They haven’t appeared in the conference finals since 2012.
”I knew it would be a big time game tonight. I knew it wouldn’t be easy at all,” Isaiah Thomas said. ”And we came out on top.”
Thomas was the leading scorer with 29 points, shooting 9-12 from the field, handing off 12 assists, making 8-9 of his free throws.
Kelly Olynyk came out strong with 26 points and shooting 10-14 from the floor. Al Horford had 15 points, made both of his free throws and brought in five defensive rebounds. Marcus Smart had 13 points and led in defensive rebounds with six for the night.
The score was tight throughout the first quarter, but the Celtics led 27-23 into the second.
The Celtics were on top in the second quarter until the final 2:21 of the half when the Wizards tied the scored 48-48. The Wizards then led 55-53.
After making two free throws at the line with 2:12 left to go in the third quarter, Thomas hit a three-point shot to tie the game 79-79.
Thomas made another three-point shot 45 seconds later to give the Celtics the lead and momentum. Marcus Smart closed the third quarter with a three-pointer, and the Celtics were up 85-79 heading into the fourth.
Jaylen Brown opened the fourth quarter with a dunk, setting the tone. The Celtics outscored the Wizards 30-26 in the last quarter with 14 of those points for the Celtics coming from Kelly Olynyk.
The Eastern Conference Finals began May 17 in Boston as the Celtics hosted Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have not lost a playoff game yet. They swept the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors both in four straight games.
Lebron James has averaged a little over 34 points per game in the playoffs so far. This was exciting matchup for the final two teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers took the first quarter 30-19. The top scorers in the first quarter were Lebron James with 15 points while Avery Bradley gave the Celtics nine points.
Early in the second quarter, the Cavaliers took a 16-point lead, forcing the Celtics to call a timeout.
With 5:17 left to play in the second, Tristan Thompson hit a dunk to increase the Cavs lead to 23 points.
Jaylen Brown missed both of his free throws at 3:42 when they were trailing by 20 points.
A little less than two minutes later, the Cavs increased their lead to 26 points.
By the end of the second quarter, the Cavs were up 61-39 a huge, seemingly insurmountable lead over the Celtics heading into the halftime break.
After finishing off the Raptors May 7, the Cavs have had a nine day rest to prepare for this game against the Celtics, and they came to win.
At the half, Lebron James was leading the Cavs in scoring with 23 points. He made 10 of his 15 shots from the floor picking up five rebounds and handing off four assists.
His teammate Kevin Love had 13 points at the half with 9 rebounds. He made all four of his free throws. Tristan Thompson brought in 11 points with seven rebounds and shooting 4-4 from the floor.
Heading into the last quarter, the Cavaliers were leading 92-75. The final shot of the game was a layup made by Kelly Olynyk, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Cavaliers who won 117-104.
The Cleveland Cavaliers controlled this game. They were in charge and showed the Celtics that they came to win. Game 2 is set for Friday, May 19 at 8:30 p.m in Boston.