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Seeded Celtics provide final East challenge for LeBron James' Cavs

Seeded Celtics provide final East challenge for LeBron James' Cavs

Seven-footer Kelly Olynyk came off the bench to rally the Boston Celtics to a 115-105 Game 7 victory over Washington Wizards. The Celtics have the best odds at the No. 1 overall pick in Tuesday's National Basketball Association draft lottery, part of a bountiful return from when they traded Pierce and Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in '13.

Washington continued to hang around, cutting the deficit to four points following a four-point play by Beal with 6:09 left in the game.

The 3-pointer wasn't working for either team early on.

Boston's reward for Monday's win will be a date with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who haven't played a game since beating the Toronto Raptors May 7.

The Celtics advance to the Eastern finals for the first time since 2012, when they also faced LeBron James and fell in a seven-game thriller to the Miami Heat.

Tied 3-3, tonight we will find out which team advanced to the Conference Finals with tip-off at 1:00 GMT.

When when Thomas and Horford were on the court in the fourth quarter, they put away Washington in dramatic fashion.

"I think they're better than any of the four times we played them, including the last one when they smashed us", Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

The Celtics had the largest lead of the first half at 10-2, but that gap was quickly erased by Washington as Boston started to accumulate fouls.




Easily Monday's Game 7 performance by Olynyk was his best ever as a Celtic, not only because of the 26 points on 10-for-14 shooting but also because of his performance's impact - it moved Boston on to the Conference finals.

Isaiah Thomas led Celtics scorers with 29 points, plus 12 assists, but the Celtics got a huge lift from Olynyk and the rest of their bench, outscoring their Wizards' counterparts 48-5. He abused the Celtics on the interior - he made none of his six perimeter shots, but repeatedly overpowered Boston defenders on his way to the basket.

Thomas had 9 points in that stretch for Boston.

It's do-or-die when the Washington Wizards take on the Boston Celtics in a Game 7 decider for the ages in Boston.

Aside from fouls, the Celtics especially were troubled in the rebounding department, as the Wizards outrebound the C's 23-14 through two quarters. In the playoffs, the two teams have combined to average almost 230 points per 100 possessions.

BOSTON (AP) - Isaiah Thomas said he didn't feel any pressure entering the first Game 7 of his career.

INJURY UPDATE: Wizards reserve Bojan Bogdanovic sat out Saturday's practice with the flu.

PRESSURE IS ON: Thomas and Wall.

Thomas answered with the Celtics' fourth straight miss, but Bradley stripped the ball from Beal, and down the other end Wall goal-tended Crowder's fast break finish for a 112-101 lead with 1:01 left.