Isaiah Thomas leads the way with 33 points and knocked down five of Boston’s 19 three-pointers as the Celtics beat the Wizards 123-111 in Game 1 of the series. John Wall scored 20 points to go along with 16 assists but the Wizards weren’t able to overcome the barrage of three-pointers from the Celtics.
The Wizards got out to a picture perfect start as they started 6-8 from the field to take an early 16-0 run. During this run, the Wizards were getting open shots and were able to knife their way into the lane for some easy baskets around the rim. Gortat got going early with an easy basket around the hoop and two assists leading to open shots.
Washington would end the quarter shooting 61 percent behind nine points from Gortat and eight from Beal as the Wizards led 38-24.
As expected, the Celtics would not go away easily. A quick 10-2 run to start the second quarter got Boston back within striking distance. A scary moment for the Wizards happened midway through the quarter when Markieff Morris shot a jumper but landed on Al Horford’s foot and rolled his ankle. Morris wouldn’t return the rest of the afternoon.
Even without Morris, the lead shrunk but the Wizards still led, 64-59 at halftime.
Things fell apart for the Wizards in the third quarter. The Celtics kept chipping away at the lead and were finally able to get over the hump when Isaiah Thomas pulled up for a midrange jumper to give Boston the lead. Washington committed eight turnovers in the period as the Celtics outscored the Wizards 36-16 in the third quarter to take a 95-80 lead.
Then it was the Wizards’ turn to attempt a comeback. Washington started the quarter on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to six, 95-89 just minutes into the period. The Wizards were able to cut the lead to as little as three, 101-98 as Bojan Bogdanovic caught fire for 10 points in the quarter.
But Thomas and Horford would hit clutch shots down the stretch to beat the Wizards 123-111.
Third quarter dooms the Wizards
After a hot start to the game, the Wizards played terribly in the third quarter. Yes, they were down one of their starters in Morris but even so, Washington showed no life defensively. Thomas was able to get where ever he wanted to on the court and burned the Wizards. The rest of the Celtics took advantage of the Wizards’ poor three-point defense in the period as they knocked down open shots to regain the lead and take control of the game. The Wizards’ eight turnovers in the period didn’t help either.
Morris injury looms large
Morris landed on Horford’s foot after shooting a midrange shot and rolled his ankle badly. The Wizards never really regained their mojo after that. This hurt the Wizards as the Celtics were able to use a smaller lineup and Washington couldn’t match them. Oubre cooled off down the stretch and Smith never really got going for Washington. If this injury for Morris is severe, that could be a major issue going forward in this series.