Celtics fans gave Kelly Oubre exactly as warm a welcome as you'd expect

Ball Don't Lie
Kelly Oubre wonders if maybe they’re saying ‘Cut through, Oubre.’ Like, suggesting he should move without the ball. Yeah, that’s gotta be it. (Getty Images)
Kelly Oubre wonders if maybe they’re saying ‘Cut through, Oubre.’ Like, suggesting he should move without the ball. Yeah, that’s gotta be it. (Getty Images)

After his Game 3 ejection for truck-sticking Boston Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk in response to several stiff screens, which resulted in a one-game suspension for Game 4, Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. said he expected to hear plenty of jeers from the fans at TD Garden during Wednesday’s Game 5.

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“A lot of people are going to be booing me tonight,” said a beaming Oubre during Washington’s pre-game shootaround, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “They know who I am, so it’s definitely a blessing.”

On Wednesday night, though, that blessing came attached to a curse. A very loud one, chanted repeatedly by a sold-out crowd of nearly 19,000 leather-lunged Celtics partisans:

As the Celtics raced out to an early lead in the first quarter — a stark reversal from the way things went in the first three games of this Eastern Conference semifinal series — and Olynyk checked in for his first action of the game, the fans packing the stands at the Garden began to let Wizards coach Scott Brooks know how they’d prefer he juggle his rotation:

Oubre didn’t make his first appearance of the game until the start of the second quarter, with the Celtics already holding a double-digit lead they’d never relinquish. In relatively short order, he once again found himself face to face — or, rather, face to shoulder — with Olynyk:

As the game wore on and Boston extended its lead, the fans at the Garden resumed chanting at Oubre. They changed the first two words, though, replacing “WE WANT” with an NSFW two-piece that suggested they, in fact, did not want Kelly Oubre:

The Celtics did a pretty good job of expressing the same sentiment to the whole Wizards team on the court on Wednesday, riding excellent performances from Avery Bradley and Al Horford, as well as a blistering 16-for-33 mark from the 3-point arc, to a dominant 123-101 win to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Boston can close out the series in D.C. in Game 6 on Friday night.

To his credit, Oubre continued to grind through the venom and invective hurled down from the stands, scoring 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting with three rebounds in 20 minutes of work. If hearing nearly 20,000 people curse at him bothered him at all, the 21-year-old didn’t seem to show it.

“[Celtics fans are] gonna do what they want to do,” Wizards star John Wall said during his post-game press conference. “I think Kelly did a great job of handling it. He didn’t let it bother him. He kept playing basketball. We told him what we was gonna expect from the crowd; we didn’t think those type of words. But all you can do is go out there and play basketball. We as brothers, we stick behind him.”

Well, some Wizards did think Celtics fans might employ that vivid vocabulary.

Oubre will receive a much warmer welcome when the Wizards return to the friendly confines of Verizon Center for Friday’s Game 6. If they can hold serve at home and keep their season alive, though, Oubre and the rest of his teammates should expect an equally brisk and bracing reaction back in Boston for a winner-take-all Game 7.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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