Well that was way more exciting than it should have been. The Celtics who held a 25 point lead at one point in the 3rd quarter, hang on for dear life to beat the Wizards 101-93. Jeff Green led the Celtics in scoring but it was Rajon Rando who messed around and got a triple double on 13 points, 11 assists, and 13 rebounds.
The Celtics jumped on the Wizards from the get go. It looked like the Celtics were the only team interested in playing this game as they were hitting shots, spreading the ball around, and hustling to loose balls. The Wizards on the other hand, dug themselves a double-digit hole early. This is beginning to become a bit of a pattern which is quite disturbing. Sometimes on the road against inferior teams, the Wizards merely think that they can show up and get the victory. Sometimes this works, but oftentimes they are scrambling to come back from a big deficit. The Wizards had 9 turnovers in the first quarter including four on their first six possessions. The deficit would have been much worse if it wasn’t for former Celtic Paul Pierce keeping the team afloat with six points in the quarter.
The Celtics were able to stretch this lead thanks to some hot shooting from Marcus Thorton and Jeff Green. Marcus Thorton chipped in 21 points off the bench including 3-4 from three point land and a personal 11-0 run to stretch the Celtics lead to 15 midway through the quarter. In addition, the Wizards couldn’t buy a bucket. The Wizards shot 27% from the field in the first half. This was arguably the Wizards worst half of play this year as they managed only 36 points and trailed 53-36 at halftime.
The beginning of the third quarter was more of the same… turnovers, lazy fouls by Paul Pierce (including a clear path foul), and poor shooting. Rasual Butler who was automatic in games past struggled to get going early. All quarter, it looked like the Wizards were starting to gain some life by getting a few stops, scoring on consecutive trips down the court, but it was the hot shooting from Jeff Green who answered at the other end. The former Georgetown product ended with 25 points and several key buckets that came in the third quarter. The Wizards trailed by 18 going into the fourth quarter; and then the fun began…
Remember I said Rasual Butler wasn’t hitting his shots early? Yeah that changed in the 4th. Rasual was scorching hot and scored 14 of his 22 points in the quarter including 5-8 from three. He hit his first two threes of the quarter which cut the lead to 12 with 11 minutes to go. Paul Pierce got into the action and hit two threes of his own which cut the lead to six with nine minutes to go. The Wizards weren’t going to complete this comeback were they? Not without a fight. Back to back threes by Marcus Thorton and Jared Sullinger stretched the Celtics lead back out to 12.
The Wiz really dug in and started locking down on defense turning the Celtics over eight times in the quarter. With the Wizards up four, John Wall drove to the lane for what looked like an easy bucket but got blocked by 2nd overall pick in the 2010 draft, Evan Turner. Wall was looking for a goaltending call but never got it. With the Celtics up three and on defense, Paul Pierce was looking to create his own shot and got stripped. The ball was pushed by the Celtics who looked like they were going to get an easy layup but John Wall blocked the shot from behind. The initial call was goaltending but the refs took a closer look and changed the call. The Wizards were unable to capitalize and the attempted comeback was all for not at the Wizards ended up falling short 101-93.
Notes: John Wall had a very impressive stat line of his own including 17 points, 14 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals. Unfortunately he did have 6 turnovers. Kris Humphries had another nice showing with 14 rebounds. The loss drops the Wizards to 13-6 who are now tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the 2 seed.