His play backed up his confidence and with the help of Kelly Olynyk and the Boston Celtics bench, Thomas earned the biggest win of his career.
"I knew it would come down to the last six minutes of the game", Washington coach Scott Brooks said.
"Kelly was the MVP tonight", Thomas said.
Led by Olynyk, the Celtics got a huge lift from their bench, outscoring their Wizards counterparts 48-5. Down by three, Isaiah Thomas hit two 3-pointers and Marcus Smart one in a 1:13 span to put the home team ahead to stay.
During the regular season, the Cavaliers won three of their four games against the Celtics, including a 114-91 victory at TD Garden on April 5.
The 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals matchup is set. He picked the Spurs to beat the top-seeded Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
Olynyk also played football in high school for the South Kamloops Titans.More news: Oil rises on US inventory draw as OPEC beckons
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"We can't have lapses where our defense collapse like that especially in crunch time", Porter said. "The game wasn't always what we wanted it to be and it wasn't a ideal game". And you want to know how we feel?
"It was ridiculous, I don't think this building reached that level, since I've been here at least", Brad Stevens said of the TD Garden crowd.
One of the best players in NBA history is rested and playing some of the best basketball of his career. "The only thing that matters is getting a win". The last time he scored 20 points was January 13, and that was his only 20-point game this season. But Washington also commited 15 turnovers leading to 17 Celtics points. He dominated, launching daggers left and right during the Celtics' 18-2 run to open the fourth and grab their first double digit lead of the night.
Washington did respond to Boston's run with a 7-0 run to climb back into it, but they were never able to get over the hump. The five-foot-nine guard is averaging 25.1 points and six assists a game in the playoffs that started a day after his younger sister died in a auto accident. The big man shot 10-for-14 from the field overall and 5 of 6 in the final frame. He hit 9 of 10 free throw attempts, and still it wasn't enough, with Wall bringing just 18 points on 8-of-23 shooting. Boston carried their positive momentum into the fourth quarter, where Olynyk took over.
Unlike numerous previous games in this series, it was the Celtics who jumped out to the early advantage, leading 10-2 after the first few minutes. Bojan Bogdanovic was the only Wizards reserve to score, and he was a minus-19 in 16 minutes. The Wizards had all of the momentum, Bradley Beal was on his way to a 38-point night, and it looked like the C's were on their way to a second-round playoff exit.
The best-of-7 series begins Wednesday. "Just came up short", Wall said. They missed several opportunities to build a sizable lead early in the second quarter, then fell behind when the Wizards stars settled into the game. "So it's a not a satisfied season to me".
Given all of this bad blood, it was probably a bad idea for the Celtics to wear all-black into Game 6. This is his ninth conference finals in 14 seasons.