Sun, May 14, 2017 - Page 11 News List

John Wall stifles Boston’s funeral talk with winner


The Boston Celtics’ Al Horford, left, dribbles around the Washington Wizards’ Marcin Gortat in Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals series at the Verizon Center in Washington on Friday.

Photo: AFP

John Wall on Friday nailed a clutch three-pointer with three seconds remaining to lift the Washington Wizards to a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of their NBA playoff series.

Wall’s late game-winning shot sets up a deciding Game 7 tomorrow, with the winners advancing to the Eastern Conference final series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wall said he was motivated by some gamesmanship on behalf of the Celtic players, who decided to enter the Verizon Center wearing all-black outfits.

“Don’t come into my city wearing all black talking about it is a funeral,” Wall said. “I got too much heart. I put in too much work.”

Wall’s heroics came after Al Horford’s jump shot with seven seconds left put the top-seeded Celtics ahead 91-89.

Washington’s Bradley Beal had 33 points and Wall scored 26, despite shooting nine of 25 from the field.

Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley each scored 27 points for the Celtics. Horford finished with 20 points.

The Wizards’ win continues a home-court advantage pattern in the season series between the two teams. The teams have played 10 games this season, with the home team winning each time.

The Wizards also exorcised some elimination game demons by snapping a streak of seven straight elimination game losses at home.

Thomas scored five straight points to put Boston up 87-82 with 94 seconds remaining.

Washington countered with the help of a superb backcourt. Beal drained a shot from three-point range and Wall tied the game by hitting two free throws with 41 seconds left.

Markieff Morris had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Washington.

“That was a heck of a basketball game between two teams playing very well,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

The Celtics won Games 1 and 2 — the first playoff series between Washington and Boston since 1984 — by at least 10 points.

After the Wizards won Games 3 and 4 by 27 and 19 points respectively, the Celtics roared back with a dominating 123-101 victory in Boston on Wednesday.

Asked what it means to force a Game 7, Wall said: “It is my life. This is what I asked for, down 2-0 to win.”

In Game 6, Wall continued his trend of slow starts. The four-time All-Star on Friday missed 11 of 12 field goals before hitting three in a row in the third.

He scored 13 in the period as Washington entered the fourth trailing 69-66.

“He’s a winner. He plays to win,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Wall. “He’s not worried about his stats, he’s worried about winning the game.”

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