The Boston Celtics’ funeral for the Washington Wizards didn’t go as planned.
For the Wizards, they walked the walk and talked the talk with a blowout 123-108 win in their “funeral” game. The Celtics, however, weren’t so lucky, and Bradley Beal and John Wall were big reasons why.
Boston showed up to Friday’s Game 6 of the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series wearing all black, although they attempted to brush it off prior to the contest. And that decision now looks a bit unwise after Wall buried the C’s with a clutch 3-pointer, which gave Washington a thrilling 92-91 victory and forced a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday at TD Garden.
So, the Celtics showed up in all black. No big deal, right? Well, by the way the Wizards sounded afterward, it sure sounded like they used it as motivation.
But the funeral stunt didn’t backfire until the very end for the Celtics.
Sure, Boston got off to a terrible start on offense with only four made baskets in the first quarter, but it slowly upped its shooting percentage to a more acceptable number. It even held a lead after the second and third quarters.
But Beal and Wall wouldn’t be denied. The two Wizards stars had monster games, as Beal scored a game-high 33 points and Wall finished with 26 points, including his game-winning 3-pointer, despite only scoring three points in the first half.
“John, I think he’s had two games in this series — one game I think he was 0-for-9 and tonight he was 1-for-9, and he ended up like 8-for-16 in the halves,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters after the game. “Not too many guys can do that. When I played, if I missed two shots I didn’t think I was going to make the next shot. But he’s a winner. He plays to win, he’s not worried about his stats. He’s worried about winning the game.”
And that’s exactly what he — and the Wizards — did.
But the good news for Boston is the unsuccessful funeral came in Game 6. It still can win the series and move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals with a win Monday.
Perhaps a different wardrobe would be a good idea, though.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images