WASHINGTON — John Wall hit a pull-up 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining as the Washington Wizards emerged with a 92-91 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series on Friday night at the Verizon Center.
The Celtics and Wizards are tied at 3-3 in this best-of-seven series. Game 7 is Monday night at TD Garden.
Isaiah Thomas, who scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, missed an off-balance 3-point heave at the buzzer with a chance to win the game.
NBA Playoffs 2017: Full coverage
We've got you covered all the way to the Finals with the latest news, schedules, analysis and more. 2017 NBA Playoffs »
• Schedule | Forecast | Picks | BPI odds
• Why Harden sputtered at the end
• No Kawhi? LMA finishes Rockets
• It does not end well for Beard, Rockets
• Will Spurs' success outlast Pop?
• Jaylen Brown making impact for C's
• Salud! Spurs' juice secrets revealed
• 5-on-5: How can Rockets aid Beard?
• 5-on-5: What should Jazz do now?
• 5-on-5: Should Raps pay Lowry big?
• How Parker's injury will hurt Spurs
• Have C's found their superstar?
After Al Horford banked home a 16-foot jumper with 7.7 seconds to play to snap an 89-89 tie, Wall responded while capping a 26-point night in which he had struggled while making only nine of 25 shots.
In a series in which the home team has won every game — not just in the postseason but the regular season as well — the Celtics will look to hold serve one final time with a trip to the Eastern Conference finals hanging in the balance.
Thomas and the Celtics let a chance to close the series slip away on Friday night.
Thomas can lean on advice offered by Paul Pierce earlier in this series. Pierce explained how hard it is to win in the playoffs and that the best players grind through adversity. Now Thomas and the Celtics’ resiliency will truly be tested.
“Paul Pierce reached out to me the other day and he told me that winning is hard,” Thomas said. “You gotta take your bumps and bruises as they go. But if winning wasn’t hard it would be everybody. I took that to heart. I feel like that’s so true.
“If [winning] was easy, it would be for everybody and it’s not. You just gotta keep going.”
The Celtics showed up for Friday’s game in all black, mimicking a ploy the Wizards used for a mid-January regular-season matchup. Boston players pleaded ignorance on the fashion statement before Friday’s game, but the significance was obvious: This was a chance to bury the Wizards, a team the Celtics beefed with throughout the 2016-17 season.
Now it comes down to Game 7 on Monday night in Boston.