WASHINGTON – When the Boston Celtics’ players were asked about their all-black attire prior to Game 6 – akin to what the Washington Wizards wore prior to the “funeral game” on Jan. 24 when they thumped the Celtics on this same Verizon Center – they all claimed it was just a coincidence.
Coincidence or not, it added some much-needed fire to a Wizards team that seemed to be running on fumes following Boston’s Game 5 win.
And the Wizards came up with just enough plays to escape with a 92-91 Game 6 win that evens the series up at 3-3.
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- Gorman: Celtics-Wizards series 'deserves a Game 7'
John Wall, who had 26 points, scored the game-winning shot with 3.5 seconds to play.
Game 7 will be at the TD Garden on Monday night.
Washington’s Bradley Beal, who led all scorers with 33 points, said he did not know that Boston players wore all-black prior to the game.
But his backcourt mate John Wall did.
“It was just funny to me,” said Wall who added that he learned of Boston’s all-black attire from family and friends who saw it on social media prior to the tip-off. “They (family and friends) said they (Celtics) wore all black, copycat what we did. It was in my mind throughout the game. I didn’t want them to come here, wear all black and basically call it a funeral in our home. We made some big plays, the ball went our way in the end and force a Game 7 at their place.”
Whether it was a motivating factor for the rest of the Wizards is debatable.
“I don’t know,” said Boston’s Al Horford when I asked him if the team’s all-black look had any effect on the game. “Their backs were against the wall. If you’re searching for stuff, that’s fine. But yeah, their backs were against the wall. They came out and they beat us.”
Thomas, who like most of his teammates said the all-black look was a “coincidence,” also questioned whether it had an impact on the game.
“It’s the playoffs. You should be motivated by anything,” Thomas said. “I don’t think they were just motivated by that. it’s Game 6; their season was on the line. They should have been motivated by everything else, just like we’re motivated for Game 7.”