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WASHINGTON -- John Wall hit a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left for the go-ahead points, then hopped atop the scorer's table and yelled to celebrate the Washington Wizards' 92-91 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night that pushed their Eastern Conference semifinal to a Game 7.
Wall overcame a 1-for-12 start to finish with 26 points, and Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 33. The backcourt mates combined for 23 of Washington's 26 points in the back-and-forth fourth quarter.
Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics showed up dressed in black, but couldn't back up the fashion statement, blowing an 87-82 lead over the last two minutes. Thomas' heave at the buzzer clanked off the rim. He and Avery Bradley each had 27 points.
Game 7 is at Boston on Monday night. The home team has won every game in the series so far.
Mike Brown lands first barb on Popovich as Warriors hone in hard on Spurs
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Warriors didn't have to say a word Thursday to show how much they respect the San Antonio Spurs. Their practice ran far longer than normal -- approximately two hours -- in preparation for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday.
After practice was finally over, the Warriors then predictably voiced their extreme respect for the Spurs, with one notable exception when acting head coach Mike Brown was asked if he felt intimidated by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
"I think if I was an official I'd be intimidated," Brown said. "But nah, I think could beat Pop up. He's like 70."
It was the kind of verbal needle Popovich, who is actually just 68, is usually notorious for, so the Warriors have the early jump on choice barbs among off-court close friends. Brown hopes that can extend that jump to the basketball floor, but he knows exactly who and what he's going up against, having served on Popovich's staff from 2000-03.
"He's a great coach and he's going to have his guys prepared," Brown said. "But I feel like we have a great team that can more than equal his group. If I had a team that wasn't capable, then maybe I'd be a little bit worried about it. But he's going to have his team prepared the right way, and hopefully we will be with ours."
Warriors players don't have be psychologically primed for their challenge after watching San Antonio throttle the Houston Rockets by 39 points in the close-out Game 6 of their series Wednesday, despite the fact that the Spurs were missing injured mainstays Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker.
"I wasn't surprised, because they're a machine," Kevin Durant said. "They just keep doing it, no matter who's out on the court, running that system. Somebody goes down, somebody steps in. It's not like they gave the ball to Jonathan Simmons and said, 'Go score for us.' They ran a perfect offense against that defense and Coach Pop put them in great position to use their strengths. That's just the Spurs, man. That's why I have the utmost respect for them."
Brown was a bit more shocked by the result, primarily by how confidently the Spurs played even with their star at both ends of the floor, Leonard, out with a left ankle sprain.