2017 NBA Playoffs: Celtics break through to ECF behind Olynyk explosion

Here’s what happened on day 28 of the 2017 NBA Playoffs:

BOS 115 – WAS 105, BOS wins series 4-3

The Boston Celtics powered their way to the Eastern Conference Finals, forging a series against defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers, after a big bench scoring binge in game seven versus the Washington Wizards.

The Celtics stormed out to a 10-2 start, but were answered by 10 straight from the Wizards, and the result was a tight first half that ended with the Wizards getting a slim two-point lead, 55-53, at the break.

Things were still tight in the third, with Bradley Beal breaking a 76-all deadlock with a triple. In response though, Boston caught fire, and three straight triples, two from Isaiah Thomas, and one from Marcus Smart, put them up 85-79.

Boston’s run continued early in the fourth, as a 9-2 run gave them a 13-point cushion, 94-83. But it was Beal’s turn to wax hot, scoring 10 straight for his side, including a four-point play, to pull his team within seven, 105-98, 4:43 left. While that was going on though, Kelly Olynyk was matching him nearly shot-for-shot. He had 12 in a 14-point stretch that rebuilt Boston’s double-digit lead, 110-100, 3:26 to go. One final push got Washington within seven, 112-105, with a minute left, but Marcus Smart’s layup connected, and both sides proceeded to wave the white flag.

Thomas top-scored with 29 points on 9-of-21 shooting, to go with his 12 assists. Kelly Olynyk came off the bench to drop 26 big markers, while Al Horford stuffed the stats sheet to the tune of 15 points, six rebounds, five assists, and a steal, versus just one turnover.

Bradley Beal exploded for a game-best 38 points on 12-of-22 shooting, but he was hampered late by what appeared to be a hand injury. Otto Porter Jr. had a 20-10 outing after going scoreless in game six, while John Wall put up 18 points and 11 dimes, although he missed his final 10 shots of the game.

The Boston bench outscored their counterparts 48-5, with only Bojan Bogdanovic contributing for Washington.

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