Although the Patriots are likely going to be the talk of the town this evening, the Celtics must be in the conversation as well after what may be their most impressive and gutsy win of the season over the Wizards 119-117.
With 13 seconds left and the game tied at 117-117, the Celtics called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Brad Stevens drew up a perfectly-designed play, which led to a lob pass by Marcus Smart, who was behind the three-point line on the perimeter, to Jae Crowder, who was in the right spot in front of the basket and laid the ball in for a layup and two-point win.
The Celtics win came on the heels of a huge effort from everyone in the rotation, but especially Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, who combined for 54 of Boston's points.
The Wizards came into this game healthy and playing much better basketball of late. So much so in fact that they had gotten themselves back in the playoff race and only one game behind the eighth-seeded Celtics heading into tonight's game.
It was clear from the beginning that this was going to be all about Thomas versus John Wall and the two did not disappoint. Wall finished with 34 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds, while Thomas finished with 32 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and the win. Not only should there be more calls for Isaiah to make the all-star game after tonight, there should be less doubts expressed in Boston about whether or not he is a solution here.
The first quarter went like so many others recently, as the Celtics were unable to get defensive stops and were down 31-24 after the first 12 minutes.
The second quarter saw the Wizards lead extend to 11 at one point, but Boston, who showed fight most of the night, kept going and ultimately did not allow Washington to extend their lead as the deficit remained seven at the half, 61-54. The Celtics cut the Wizards lead down to three by the end of the third quarter and then exploded for 36 points in the fourth for the win.
With the victory, the Celtics extended their lead over the Wizards for the eighth seed to two games.