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Wall leads Wizards to NBA win over Celtics

Press Association logoPress Association 13/05/2017 Howard Fendrich

John Wall stood atop the scorer's table, popping his jersey, yelling and celebrating his three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left for the go-ahead basket that pushed Washington NBA Eastern Conference semi-final against Boston to a game seven.

After the Wizards' 92-91 victory, Wall offered his thoughts on the Celtics' failure to back up their fashion statement of wearing all black clothing to the arena Friday night.

"It was just funny to me. It was kind of copy-catting what we did," said Wall, whose Wizards donned dark outfits before a regular-season game dubbed the "Funeral Game" between these teams that are building a rivalry.

"It was in my mind throughout the game that I didn't want them to come here, wear all black, and basically call it a funeral."

Wall finished with 26 points, while Bradley Beal scored a game-high 33, and they combined for 23 of Washington's 26 points in the back-and-forth fourth quarter.

"All we asked for was one more game, and we got it," Wall said.

Game seven is in Boston on Monday night. The winner will face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East finals starting Wednesday.

The hosts have won all 10 games between the Wizards and Celtics this season.

"Two best words in playoffs is 'Game 7'," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.

"Seems like it was meant to be."

Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley each scored 27 points for Boston, the conference's No. 1 seed.

But Bradley could do nothing defensively to stop Wall on the winning shot, coming off an inbound play that was designed to get Beal the ball.

Thomas' heave at the buzzer clanked off the rim.

"I thought it was going in," Thomas said.

"Honestly I did."

The final period was tight throughout, featuring six ties and nine lead changes. Boston were up 87-82, but could not hold on.

"We put ourselves in position to win the game," said Al Horford, whose 16-foot baseline bank shot with 7.7 seconds left gave Boston their last lead at 91-89.

"Couldn't finish it. We can't dwell on this."

Wall and Beal both shook off slow starts.

Not since 1979 have the Wizards reached the conference finals, and Wall has made it clear he'll consider this season - Brooks' first as the team's coach - a waste of time if they don't end the drought.

"We don't win Game 7, we feel like it was a failure," Wall said.

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