The Celtics ended a three-game losing streak tonight with a 118-98 win over the Washington Wizards. With Marcus Smart out for the second straight game because of a toe injury, Brad Stevens opened the game with the same lineup that started against the Pacers. From the jump the offense looked great and the C's were able to get wherever they wanted to go with relative ease. They opened a 21-16 lead with 4:20 left in the first quarter and never looked back.
Jared Sullinger led the offense with 21 points on 9-13 shooting. Kelly Olynyk chipped in 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals off the bench. Evan Turner and Isaiah Thomas chipped in 16 points a piece.
While the offense was the obvious focal point, the C's defense remained strong. With exception of a few runs late in the second quarter and early in the third, Boston was able to force 24 turnovers, 18 of which were steals, and make the Wizards work for every shot.
Welcome back Sullinger! An afterthought for most of the preseason, Sully went off in the first quarter. In only eight minutes he scored 11 points on 5-6 shooting with three boards. Sullinger sparked the best offensive first quarter of the season for the C's. Speaking of the first quarter...
The Celtics came out of the gates ON FIRE! After having one of the worst first quarter scoring averages in the league and finding themselves in early holes more often than not, the team dropped 40 points on the Wizards before they knew what hit them. The C's shot 65 percent from the field and scored 14 fast break points off of seven forced turnovers.
In an interesting development with the front court rotation, Olynyk was the first big man to come off the bench. Stevens even went with an Olynyk, David Lee and Jonas Jerebko combination to start the second quarter...and it looked good.
Evan Turner knocked down two silky three's in the second quarter...if that sentence doesn't describe how the offense was flowing in the first half than I don't know what does.
The C's took a 72-49 lead into the halftime break with three players in double-digits.
Remember when I said Sullinger started off hot in the first quarter? Yeah, it continued in the third. After hitting two straight three's, Sully fell to the floor to secure a rebound and, from a seated position, threw a perfect outlet pass up the floor to Thomas for a wide open layup. Making a statement about his position on this team? I think so.
Stevens went to Turner early on in the third quarter when the Wizards were making their run. Interesting because he is not necessarily known for his defensive prowess.
Olynyk let his hair down and played a fantastic all-around game. There is a 95 percent chance that his confidence was hiding in his man bun. He was all over the court, knocking down outside shots, playing good team defense and adding four assists to his 19 points.
The shooting woes, especially from downtown, were not an issue against Washington. The team shot 48 percent from deep through three quarters.
Tyler Zeller did not see the floor until there was just over four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. His struggles have been widely talked about and his absence until then was noticeable.
Jae Crowder had to be helped to the locker room late in the game. He was favoring his left knee after suffering a reported bone bruise.
Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/AP Photo Connor Casey 11/06/2015 09:50:00 PM Tweet Edit