BOSTON (CBS) — After a disappointing, sometimes baffling first six games, Celtics guard Marcus Smart elevated himself in Game 7 against the Washington Wizards. Smart was a major part of the Celtics’ dominant bench performance in their 115-105 win, helping them earn a date with LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
After averaging 7.2 points in his first six games of the series, Smart scored 13 points off the bench in Game 7, shooting 4-for-7 (57.1 percent) from the field after shooting just 31.6 percent in the six games prior to Monday night. His effort included a pair of huge three-pointers in the third quarter, the first cutting the Wizards’ lead to 72-70 and the second putting the Celtics up six with 33 seconds left in the quarter.
Smart also made this slick feed to Jaylen Brown, who made a nifty finish to tie the game at 72 soon after Smart’s clutch three:
Of course, Smart’s game is about way more than just offense. He was also huge on the glass for the Celtics, tying for the team lead with six rebounds and battling hard for the ball at every opportunity. He pulled down three of his six rebounds in the final 1:18 of the third quarter as the Celtics started to pull away from the Wizards.
Smart also made two huge blocks, one of which on a shot by the Wizards’ John Wall in the third quarter when the Celtics were down two points. But before that, he came up with this big-time block on Otto Porter Jr. with just 30 seconds left in the first half:
It was mostly a trying series for the struggling Smart, but Game 7 was a completely different story. Smart showed what he’s capable of doing when he’s at his best, impacting the game at both ends of the court and competing as hard as anyone on the floor.