The final offensive play run by the Wizards actually was for Bradley Beal on the inbound pass, but when John Wall noticed it was breaking down he went to Plan B in Game 6 vs. the Boston Celtics.
He was in the slot, not the corner or top of the three-point arc but at the 45-degree angle, which happens to be his favorite spot to launch three-pointers. With Avery Bradley sizing him up, Wall did the unthinkable to extend their season one more game.
"I didn't want to get a five-second violation so I came and got the ball from (Otto) Porter and looked the defender in the eye and took a shot I work on and it went in," said Wall, who began 1-for-12 but finished 8-for-13 in a 92-91 victory.
After Isaiah Thomas' heave at the end went awry, it marked the third time the Wizards won at Verizon Center this series. They're 6-0 here during the playoffs, but to advance to the conference finals they'll have to win at TD Garden. They haven't done that since the regular-season finale in 2014 vs. that was a 25-win team.
It's a shot that Celtics coach Brad Stevens could live with after all. Wall's only other game-winner this late in a game came vs. the Chicago Bulls in a 101-99 victory. Up until that point, he'd failed to do it in the final five seconds of a game in his seventh NBA season.
"We had our best on-ball defender on their All-Star," Stevens said of Wall, who shot just 32.7% from three in his seventh NBA season. "We're going to guard it as hard as we can and shake his hand and move on."
Whether or not actual handshakes will take place between teams that dislike one another so much following Monday's Game 7 will be an interesting footnote to a series that has been hostile. They've played a total of 10 times, including the regular season, and the home team has won each time (5-5).
"I wasn't a great shooter coming in," said Wall, who made his first go-ahead three-pointer in the final 10 seconds of the regular season or playoffs. "That's something I had to work on. Nobody is going to come in as a perfect point guard, a perfect guy."
Wall didn't have to be perfect. He had to just be better than Thomas who had 27 points but it took 24 shots.
"Beal hits a three. That was his first three all game. Then the next play Wall gets to the foul line," said Thomas, who'd given Boston a 87-82 lead with a five-point burst with 94 seconds left in regulation. "You got to tip your hat to those guys. They kept fighting, but we played a hell of a game as well, too. At the end of the day, you'll live with a John Wall contested three-pointer from deep."
To win Game 7, the Wizards would prefer it doesn't come down to such a finish on the road. But coach Scott Brooks sounds confident in Wall if he has the ball at the end in a similar circumstance.
"Not too many guys can do that," Brooks said of Wall's confidence to take the big shot despite his struggles shooting. "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 and he plays to win. He's not worried about his stats. He's worried about winning the game."
Wall hopped onto the scorer's table afterards to celeberate. When made aware of it, Beal, who had a game-high 33 points, did a double-take as Wall explained his actions.
"It was for how much love I have for this city, how much love I have for my teammates, how much fight we have," Wall said. "Never quitting. A lot of people doubted us in this series after going down 2-0. A lot of guys doubt us winning this game at home. The last two years we were in the playoffs we lost Game 6 here and we just had a lot of heart. I just wanted this city to know that we love them for all the support they gave us and they're amazing fans."
Can he give them a Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in four decades? The Wizards fell one win short of their goal of 50 for the regular season, but that would certainly make up for it.