Wall beats clock, ends funeral talk

WASHINGTON • John Wall 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 Six of their NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals series on Friday.

Wall's late game-winning shot sets up a deciding Game Seven tomorrow with the winner advancing to the East final against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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

"Don't come into my city wearing all black talking about it is a funeral," he said. "I got too much heart. I put in too much work."

Washington's Bradley Beal had 33 points and Wall scored 26 despite shooting nine-of-25 from the field, as they snapped a streak of seven straight elimination-game losses at home.

Wall's heroics came after Al Horford's jump shot with seven seconds left put the top-seeded Celtics ahead 91-89. Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley each scored 27 points for the Celtics, while Horford finished with 20 points.

Wizards guard John Wall shoots the game-winning three-pointer over Celtics guard Avery Bradley with seconds to spare. The Eastern Conference series goes to a Game Seven at Boston.
Wizards guard John Wall shoots the game-winning three-pointer over Celtics guard Avery Bradley with seconds to spare. The Eastern Conference series goes to a Game Seven at Boston. PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST

Thomas scored five straight points to put Boston up 87-82 with 94sec remaining. Washington countered with Beal draining a shot from three-point range and Wall tying the game at 87-all by hitting two free throws with 41 seconds left.

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

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

The four-time All-Star started slow, missing 11 of 12 field goals before hitting three in a row in the third. He scored 13 in the period.

After quietening talk of a funeral on Friday with his game winner, Wall will hope to put the final nail in the Celtics' coffin tomorrow.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 14, 2017, with the headline 'Wall beats clock, ends funeral talk'. Print Edition | Subscribe