As Tommy Heinsohn said midway through the third quarter -- this is Jared Sullinger’s world; we're just living in it.
The Celtics defeated the Wizards, in a game that was never really close, led by Sully, who ended the contest with an impressive 18 point, 15 rebound performance.
Sullinger played a physical yet efficient game from the opening minutes, helping a balanced Celtics attack (every starter scored in the first quarter) race out to a quick double digit lead and finish out the quarter up 11, 29-18. Avery Bradley kept up his own trend of hot starts, hitting two of his first three shots to help spearhead a fast-paced onslaught courtesy of a bevy of Wizard’s turnovers.
The second quarter was no easier on the struggling Wizards, as Sullinger assaulted the boards and showed off an impressive touch on some long two point shots, finishing the first half with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Bradley chipped in 12 points of his own to basically put the game out of reach before the first half came to a close, as the Celtics lead 54-36.
The rest of the game had little in the way of suspense, though it held some encouraging signs for some of the C’s who had recently been struggling. Jae Crowder built off his game-sealing three pointer against Philadelphia to go three for five from beyond the arc for the game, and Kelly Olynyk rediscovered his own stroke while notching three treys of his own.
Jonas Jerebko continued to struggle (he came into the game mired in a slump that extended to 0-18 early in the game) but managed to contribute with his usual hustle, saving multiple possessions by recovering loose balls or grabbing offensive rebounds and helping to defend the Wizard’s own versatile forward, Jared, Dudley, who played well in the first before fizzling down the stretch, while David Lee finished with an impressive 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in only 17 minutes.
With the win, the Celtics built off their narrow win over the hapless Philadelphia 76ers but, more importantly, rediscovered the hustle-laden, movement heavy play style that helped them to play so well before the wheels came off over the past two weeks.
The Celtics move back to two games over .500 at 9-7 before they head out on a tough road trip that will see them play three teams at or above .500 (including the 12-4 San Antonio Spurs) and a resurgent Pelicans team that has won three straight.
The only bright spot for the Wizards might have been that their starters didn't end up playing a ton of minutes, as they look to rebound from one of their worst losses of the season tomorrow night against the always tough Toronto Raptors.
Photo courtesy of NESN (via twitter)
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