The Boston Celtics travel to face the surging Washington Wizards for their third matchup of the season. Star point guards Isaiah Thomas and John Wall always make for an intriguing game to watch, but before tip-off the Wizards decided to add a little fuel to the fire. As a team, Washington decided to dress for a "funeral", wearing all black attire as they entered the arena. It is no real secret that these two teams have not liked each other since last year's exchange between ex-head coach Randy Wittman and Jae Crowder. Though fans may not see another post-game scuffle between the two sides, expect this contest to be very physical. A big question going into tonight will be, how does the officiating crew handle the situation?
Both teams came out firing on offense, not so much defensive side of the ball. The Wizards made their first six field goal attempts while the Celtics were able to keep pace. Midway through the first quarter Washington leads Boston, 18-15. Marcin Gortat led all scores with eight points, shooting a perfect 4-4 from the field.
Johnson has been burned on a cut, beaten to the baseline, and given up a clean 3-pointer to Beal. Rough start for him.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 25, 2017
Jae Crowder and Bradley Beal matched each other shot-for-shot early on, both hitting twice from beyond the arc. The key to the game so far has been the difference in shooting percentages. Washington started off making 73% of their shots, Boston only hitting on 45%. James Young made a rare appearance, maybe a case of coach Brad Stevens missing the injured starter Avery Bradley.
The Wizards are on top of the Celtics 33-24 after the first. Isaiah Thomas is tied for the game-high in scoring with eight points.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 25, 2017
Rozier-Brown-Young-Crowder-Olynyk and I have no idea where the offense will come from with this group.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 25, 2017
Washington was able to increase their lead to double-digits for the first time in the second quarter. Young countered with a nice three-point shot, getting his first points in a while. Even with that, the Wizards second-unit seemed to be too much for the C's bench as they were able to build a twelve-point lead before the starters re-entered.
At one point in the game, both Beal and Horford made subtle gestures towards both opposing benches on consecutive made baskets. Small things like these could potentially start something that results in more chatter and physicality. Late in the second the Celtics went on an 14-6 run, cutting the lead down to three.
The Wizards are shooting 68.8 percent but the Celtics only trail 55-52 so who knows.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 25, 2017
Going into halftime the Celtics trail the Wizards, 66-59. Washington shot 65% from the field and 61% from three, without defensive adjustments Wall and Beal will continue to torch Boston. It is worth noting that the C's only turned the ball over twice in the first half, while also committing only six total team fouls.
In a high-scoring affair, the Wizards lead the Celtics 66-59 at half. IT has 17 points and 8 assists. Horford had 13 points and 3 assists. pic.twitter.com/sfGZrEwgMB— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 25, 2017
The third quarter began similar to how the game was played in the first half, with Boston not being able to do much on defense.
Jae Crowder beats the shot clock with a deep, deep trey! pic.twitter.com/AAkYPWV5aM— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 25, 2017
Isaiah Thomas now 100 for his last 105 from the line. (95.2%)— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) January 25, 2017
Washington was able to rebuild their lead to twelve, as the Celtics started turning the ball over. With three minutes left in the third quarter, Washington's shooting percentage finally dipped below 60% for the first time tonight. Wall took over the final few mintues, running the one-man fast break and getting himself to the line. At the end of three quarters, the Wizards are on top 91-80. Wall has scored 24 points with 7 boards, while Thomas has 23 with 10 assists.
The final quarter of play started off well for the green. Multiple defensive stops, combined with a Jonas Jerebko put-back dunk forced the Wizards to call a quick timeout. John Wall then entered the game with eight mintues left and a nine point lead.
#Celtics just can't get any stops. Each time they make a run, WSH comes back with a layup or 3. 101-89 WSH with 8:01 left.— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) January 25, 2017
Smart, Olynyk and Thomas are a combined 3-for-16 from 3pt #Celtics— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) January 25, 2017
The Celtics were able to get baskets the rest of the way, yet they could not get themselves a stop on defense. Washington fed off their pre-game smack talk, along with the energy of their home crowd. Winning the game, 123-108.
Bradley Beal finished with a game-high 31 points, while I.T ended with 13 assists.
Spencer Tawes 1/24/2017 09:27:00 PM Tweet Edit