Wizards hoping to beat Celtics the same way they did in the ‘funeral game’

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Wizards hoping to beat Celtics the same way they did in the ‘funeral game’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

This Tuesday, the Washington Wizards will face off against the Boston Celtics in the first postseason matchup between the two since the second round of the 2017 playoffs. Boston got the better of Washington in that series, winning Game 7 at home. It was earlier during that 2016-17 campaign, though, that the fierce rivalry between the Wizards and Celtics was ignited.

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Remember the ‘funeral game?’ To refresh Wizards fans’ memories, John Wall and company wore all black to a regular season game in D.C. against the Celtics in January of 2017. Washington would end up winning that game 123-108, in part thanks to a spectacular 27-point night from the man formerly known as ‘D.C.’s point god.’

Boston attempted to replicate the Wizards’ funeral game idea by wearing all-black themselves to Game 6 of the second round series between the two. Yes, that’s the same Game 6 in which Wall hit a miraculous 35-footer to give Washington the win with just 3.5 seconds remaining. So, that didn’t quite work out for the Celtics.

Wall, after winning the game in stunning fashion, said of the Celtics’ attempt to figuratively ‘bury’ the Wizards, “Don’t come to my city, wearing all black, talking about a funeral…They just said they were gonna wear all black, so we knew it was kind of copy-catting what we did. It was in my mind throughout the game. I didn’t want them to come here in all black and basically call it a funeral and we lose at home.” Safe to say, Washington was motivated by Boston’s gamesmanship. After all, when the Wizards did it, they did so in their home city and not on the road.

Bradley Beal said of the Celtics’ funeral game attempt: “I didn’t know that they wore all black today, but it doesn’t faze us. It is what it is. They came in and played hard. We’re not going to take anything from them.”

Beal, along with Russell Westbrook, Rui Hachimura and the rest of Washington’s core, will hope to not be ‘fazed’ by Boston again as they face them this Tuesday at TD Garden for a shot at a playoff spot. With superstar guard Jaylen Brown out for the remainder of the season for Boston, the Wizards hope to take advantage of a short-handed Celtics roster and grab the No. 7 seed from them for the main NBA playoff tournament to follow.

It isn't quite do-or-die this time. The loser does get one more chance to qualify with a game against the winner of Indiana-Charlotte for the No. 8 seed and final playoff spot. . 

Watch the Wizards try to clinch a playoff spot as they take on the Celtics this Tuesday, starting with Wizards Pregame Live on NBC Sports Washington at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT at 9 p.m.