Short-handed Wizards aim to even series vs. Celtics

Ross Houston
May 8, 2017

WASHINGTON — Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. has been suspended for Game 4 for charging and knocking over Boston Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk.

The incident occurred when the forward made "forceful and unwarranted contact" with Celtics Center Kelly Olynyk, according to the National Basketball Association release. Boston's struggles led to some complaints to the officials from star guard Isaiah Thomas. The Wizards have the biggest differential in winning percentage at home vs. the road in the entirety of the season, and the Celtics have witnessed that stark disparity first hand.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) goes to the basket against Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42), of Dominican Republic, and Kelly Olynyk, back center, of Canada, during the first half in Game 4 of a second-round National Basketball Association basket. The Celtics, by virtue of earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference, could play two of their final three games against the Wizards in TD Garden. Many were surprised at this start to the playoffs however a very tragic and unfortunate incident happened to Isaiah Thomas and his family right before the playoffs started. Can they keep the momentum going when the series shifts back to Boston? Ryan Anderson had 13 points (up from 2 in the previous game), and the Houston bench had 50 points, well ahead of the 10 last game. Wall has 20-plus points and seven-plus assists in 10 consecutive playoff games, the most in a single postseason in National Basketball Association history ahead of Michael Jordan's eight. James converted a three-point play with 15 seconds left in the first to tie it at 28-all after one. And so we go now to Markieff Morris, who refuses to speak in couched statements.

This strategy has worked well for the Wizards, who have held Thomas to 32 points over the last two games combined. As Wall sped up the game, the Wizards made 10 of 13 field goals during the run, including two three-pointers.

For the second straight round, the Wizards will face a Game 5 that could tilt the balance. "We've got options, we can move some people around".

"Especially in that third quarter, I may have hit the ground five or six times, and I'm not the one who likes hitting the ground", said Thomas.

Washington got on the board in the series with a 116-89 win at home in Game 3 on Thursday night. Fundamentally, the Wizards' game is defending well and turning defensive rebounds into quick transition points. It's about playing for each other, and we've been doing that all year.

"If you turn the ball over against these guys, you prefer to drop-kick it into the stands so you can at least set up your D", Brad Stevens said after the game. "The refs were allowing them to hold and grab and do all those things", Thomas said".

In that span, the Wizards forced Boston to miss five shots, but they also harassed the Celtics into eight of their 18 turnovers. We feel like we can win there.

"We have to do a better job of utilizing spacing to take some of their length out of the play", Stevens said.

"We know that we have the ability to win there", Wall said of Boston. Fans chanted "Kelly Oubre!" on a few occasions as Olynyk finished 5 of 9 for 14 points.

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