By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said a few days ago that we wouldn’t see a return of 90s basketball in their current series with the Boston Celtics.
And he’s right; Thursday night’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center looked much more like a PG version of the 80s.
Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. took exception to a hard screen by Kelly Olynyk in the second quarter, and charged the Boston forward after picking himself up the ground. Olynyk, who was arguing the call with the ref, didn’t see him coming and took a tumble when OUbre barreled into him and the official.
Oubre was ejected from the game in what could be the NBA’s first Kelly on Kelly crime, and now likely facing a suspension from the league. Those were the biggest fireworks in a game that featured eight technical fouls and three ejections.
“I set a screen,” Olynyk said after the 116-89 Boston loss, cutting their series lead to 2-1. “I was just setting solid screens. He was trying to run through them, but I was setting solid ones.”
Olynyk certainly has a track record after yanking Kevin Love’s shoulder out of place two years ago in Boston’s first-round series with the Cavaliers, which ended the forward’s postseason, but his screen on Thursday night looked pretty legal. Maybe Oubre should have been more upset with his teammate, Ian Mahinmi, for not giving him a heads up that there was a seven-foot tree waiting for him. It sounds like his head coach would agree that the second-year forward overreacted when he charged Olynyk.
“We can’t respond that way,” Brooks said of Oubre’s charge. “When you keep getting hit in the head, you might respond that way and I think that’s what he did. I’m not saying that that was the right thing to do. We have to focus on playing basketball.”
Olynyk wouldn’t say if he thinks Oubre should be suspended for his shove, leaving that up to the league. He said it was clear emotions were going to be running high in the game from the tip.
“It was definitely a tense game. Emotions were flaring and everything was amped up,” he said. “They needed to win and did what they needed to do.”
For a series that had been relatively tame over the first two games, the dislike between the two teams resurfaced on Thursday night.
“I guess that’s playoff basketball,” said Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who was held to just 13 points in the loss. “We don’t like them and they don’t like us.”
After the fracas, the Celtics didn’t do much to put up a fight on the scoreboard. Washington dominated the game, which featured a 22-0 Washington run in the first quarter, and now have some momentum — and fire — heading into Sunday night’s Game 4.
But have no doubt, the Celtics will be prepared to answer.
“We just have to play basketball the way we play, both ends of the floor tough and smart. If we do that, we give ourselves a shot,” said Olynyk.