Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, who before Game 7 was widely known for his dust-up with Wizards forward Kelly Oubre in Game 3, stole the show in the fourth quarter of a tightly contested battle.
The Celtics now move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in what should be a very exciting Eastern Conference Finals matchup. They uncorked something truly improbable in the form of another playoff career high - this one in the form of 26 points off the bench from Kelly Olynyk, including a 14-point fourth quarter that nailed down the decision in his first Game 7.
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 29 points on 9-of-21 shooting in Monday's Game 7 win over the Wizards. He dished out 12 assists in 40 minutes, hitting 8-of-9 free throws with two rebounds, one steal and three 3-pointers.
Beal led the Wizards, who have not reached the conference final since 1979, with 38 points.
But Washington also had 15 turnovers, leading to 17 of the Celtics' points. But Olynyk then took over.
While Kelly Olynyk emerged as the unexpected hero of Game 7, Thomas overcame some shooting woes to hit big shots when they mattered. Boston got back first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, plus the right to swap picks this year.
"They're tremendous. The defending champs", said Stevens.
"I love him. I love how he plays", Washington coach Scott Brooks said. But for the Lakers, who were playing the Celtics in the NBA Finals when the lottery was instituted in 1985, the swings could determine how quickly they can get back to their former heights.More news: Sheriff: 1 killed, 25 injured in WI tornado
According to ESPN, Olynyk's 26 points were the most off the bench by any player in a Game 7 since Leandro Barbosa scored the same amount for the Phoenix Suns in 2006 against the Los Angeles Lakers. He missed his last 11 shots, seven of them from behind the arc, after flexing his muscle following a basket with 7:03 left in the third quarter. This put Boston ahead by as much as 10 points, 110-100, with 3:25 remaining.
Washington answered in a big way, starting with a Markieff Morris baseline jumper and with the big man following up a Marcin Gortat drive with a 3, cutting the Celtics lead to 94-88 with 8:48 left. The Wizards are 6-4 in Game 7s, 2-4 on the road. Second-seeded Cleveland, 8-0 in the playoffs, took the season series 2-1.
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.
With the win, the Cavaliers became the first team in National Basketball Association history to record back-to-back four-game sweeps over the first two rounds of the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
"We needed to help the starters, help with Isaiah", he said. "In Game 7, legs are gone.' And it does play a role and a big factor".
They'll be looking for a similar outcome after Game 1, as they look maintain their status as the Eastern Conference's top dog.
Washington guard John Wall had 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, but he shot just 8 of 23 from the floor, 1 of 8 from 3-point range.