Celtics drop Christmas Day matchup with Wizards 111-103

In the first home Christmas game in franchise history, the Boston Celtics fell 111-103 to the Washington Wizards. Despite an excellent performance from the Boston bench, the Celtics could not stop the Washington offense for most of the night. Brad Beal led all scorers with 25 points while Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum finished with 20.

The Wizards led 30-24 after a 1st quarter in which the Celtics looked a little stale on both ends of the court. Sloppy passing led to plenty of easy transition opportunities for Washington while the Celtics simply could not keep Washington out of the paint in the half court. Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown paced the Boston offense with 8 and 5 1st quarter points respectively.

Despite the (rare) promising play from the Celtics’ bench to start the 2nd quarter, Washington’s starters continued to pose big problems for Boston’s defense, attacking the rim in both transition and the half court. Boston never held a lead in the first half, trailing 52-49 at the intermission. 15 points from Bradley Beal and 6 assists from John Wall led Washington in the first half. For Boston, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford led the C’s offense with 8 points each.

Washington got off to hot start again in the 3rd quarter behind a 8-8 start from the field. The Celtics kept the score close thanks to a nice period for Kyrie including a stretch of 7 straight points. Otto Porter Jr. poured in 10 points during the period, however, and Boston trailed Washington 80-76 after 3 quarters.

Marcus Smart gave the Celtics a lift to start the 4th quarter hitting a contested three and dishing an alley-oop to Daniel Theis. Jayson Tatum then gave Boston an 87-85 lead with 9:11 to play with a transition three. After matching buckets for much of the final quarter, a 12-0 run from Washington gave the Wizards a 102-95 lead with 3:43 to play. The Celtics never quite recovered from the multi-minute scoring drought, dropping this Christmas Day rivalry game.

Image Credit: Boston Celtics/NBA

Follow Grant Engebretsen at @gcengebretsen