Wizards at Celtics Game 5 Final: Wizards no-show in Boston, get blown out 123-101

Avery Bradley scores a playoff career-high 29 points as the Celtics blowout the Wizards, 123-101. The Wizards didn’t treat this game like the most important contest in nearly 40 years as they pulled a complete no-show. John Wall led the way with 21 points while Bradley Beal chipped in with 16 and outside of those two, there wasn’t much to talk about.

Things looked good as the Wizards connected on their first two shots of the game to take an early 4-0 lead. But that would be the only lead the Wizards experienced tonight as the Celtics countered with a 13-0 run en route to blowing the doors off of Washington. The Celtics were on fire in the first quarter led by Bradley who scored 14 points on 6-8 shooting as the Celtics led 33-21.

Things didn’t get any better for Washington in the second quarter when the bench came in as Boston’s lead ballooned to 20. The Wizards were able to get the lead down to 15 but the Celtics countered with easy baskets whenever that happened. Boston shot 58 percent in the half with Bradley and Jae Crowder combining for 39 points as the Wizards trailed 67-51.

The Wizards showed a bit of fight in the third as they were able to cut the lead to 14 at one point. But Boston quickly answered with three-pointers from Thomas and Smart to end all hope. Washington cleared the bench early in the fourth quarter as the reserves would ride this one out to a 123-101 loss.

Washington no-shows in biggest game of the year

You would think that a pivotal Game 5 on the road would be enough for Washington to bring their A-game? But clearly, it wasn’t. Washington no-showed in the most important game of the year. They were lazy on defense, had zero flow to their offense, and would watch as Boston made all of the hustle plays. Outside of Wall and Beal, who also looked disinterested at times, the only player who came to play tonight was Kelly Oubre.

Wizards have no answer for Avery Bradley

Bradley struggled mightily in the two games in Washington, but not tonight. Bradley came out on fire connecting on 10 of his first 13 shots of the ball game. He was knocking down threes, getting dunks in transition, and pretty much just getting any shot he wanted. Bradley set the tone and the Wizards were so consumed with containing Thomas that they let Bradley get loose. As mentioned, Bradley scored a playoff career-high 29 points on 12-19 shooting including 4-7 from three-point range.


Celtics vs. Wizards Game 4: Washington uses 26-0 run to blowout Boston, 121-102

After missing his first nine shots, John Wall connects on 8-16 the rest of the way en route to 27 points as the Wizards blow out the Celtics 121-102. Bradley Beal led the team with 29 points and Otto Porter added 18 as the Wizards use a 26-0 run in the third quarter to run away from Boston.

Boston looked locked in from the beginning, specifically, Thomas. After scoring just 13 points in Game 3, Thomas connected on his four three-point field goals to give the Celtics an early lead. Porter scored 10 in the quarter but Boston went 5-8 from three-point range and led for the first time after the first quarter in this series, 24-20.

After starting 0-9 from the field, John Wall connected on a long three-point field goal. That sparked an 11-2 run at a pivotal time as Washington found themselves down by as many as 12, 40-28 in the second quarter. Wall would score 14 points in the second period after a scoreless first quarter as we’d be tied at 48 at halftime.

Amir Johnson scored the first five points of the third quarter and that’s when everything changed for Washington. After two free throws, Morris would gobble an offensive rebound and kick it to Bradley Beal for three to spark a 26-0 run for the Wizards. During this run, Washington turned Boston over nine times resulting in 21 points. The Wizards clamped down on defense, specifically Otto Porter who got his hands in passing lanes that resulted in easy layups in transition. Wall had no issues getting to the hole as he easily beat Thomas off the dribble for layups and mean mugs to the crowd. The Wizards flipped the five point deficit into a 74-53 lead.

Washington connected on 13-17 field goals to start the quarter as they would enjoy a 90-68 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Scott Brooks opted to go with the starters for a tad longer than usual but probably for insurance purposes as the Celtics never cut the lead to closer than 17 after the 26-0 run. Jason Smith added a cherry on top to this one as the Wizards tie the series at two games a piece.

26-0 run sparks Wizards

Amir Johnson scored five quick points in the third quarter. It was all over for Boston after that. Washington amped up their defense turning the Celtics over nine times during the 26-0 run which was the deciding factor. Porter shot gaps for steals and easy layups on the other end.

Bradley Beal was knocking down three-pointers, and John Wall was doing Wallstar things as the Wizards turned this game upside down over a five minute stretch in the third period.

John Wall was an All-Star tonight

After starting 0-9 from the field, Wall connected on 8-15 field goals the rest of the way as he’d score 27 points to go along with 12 assists. Like Porter, Wall was also very active on the defensive end as he led the team with five steals and was able to get the team rolling in transition. Once Wall settled into the game, he really controlled the pace of this one and was able to knock down shots and find his teammates for easy baskets.

Bradley Beal turns in his best performance of the series

After a couple of underwhelming performances, Beal led the team in scoring tonight with 29 points including going 3-6 from three-point range in the most important game of the year. Thomas was matched on Beal to start this one and once again, Washington went straight to him in the post. Later, they ran Beal off of screens for wide open jumpers as the 5’9” Thomas had no chance of blocking him. Beal shot an impressive 69 percent (11-16) on a night when the Wizard needed him.

How the Wizards slowed down Isaiah Thomas in Game 3

Isaiah Thomas burned the Wizards in Boston through the first two games of this series. After a very impressive Game 1 performance where Thomas scored 33 points, he scored 53 in Game 2 with 29 of those coming in the fourth quarter and overtime periods. There were a lot of opinions on what the Wizards should do to stop the little giant and in Game 3 on Thursday night; the Wizards made all of the right adjustments.

First off, the Wizards made Thomas work on the defensive end. If Thomas was guarding Wall, the Wizards would run the pick-and-roll with Gortat as the 5’9 Thomas could not fight over that mountain of a screen.

Once Washington exploited that matchup, coach Brad Stevens moved Thomas onto Bradley Beal. Scott Brooks countered this by running Beal off of screens. Once again, Thomas was put in a position where he had to fight through a Gortat screen and Beal was able to cash in with easy jumpers.

Lastly, the Celtics tried hiding Thomas on Otto Porter. That didn’t work out too well either. In Game 2, Wall, Beal, and Kelly Oubre tried posting up Thomas with only Wall having any real success. Last night, Washington ran isolation plays for Porter to catch the ball at the elbow, clear out the strong side of the court, and let the taller Porter go to work. Porter capitalized with two post-up jumpers he was able to get up without much of a challenge:

Defensively, Washington made several adjustments that threw Thomas off of his game. He finished the night with just 13 points on 3-8 shooting and missed both of his three-point attempts.

The game plan in the first half was the same as Game 1 & 2. Wall and Beal went over screens as the Wizards did not want to relinquish any clean three-point attempts. And while that strategy worked in the first half, they added another adjustment to keep Boston from making a comeback in the second half.

Bradley Beal was the primary defender on Thomas in the third quarter and the Wizards played him differently as a result. Markieff Morris or Marcin Gortat would show, allowing the screener to roll and forcing Thomas to go around the screen as the defender recovered or try to split the defense. As you can see here, the show from Morris allows Beal to recover enabling him to catch up with Thomas.

This is something that Washington did not do in Games 1 and 2.

Lastly, the Wizards exerted a great amount of desperation and hustle plays that we weren’t seeing in prior games. Back in Boston, when a high screen-and-roll was set, Wall and Beal looked like they were blindfolded running through a forest as they ran right into screens and gave up on the play shortly thereafter. This allowed Thomas to shoot open threes and pull up in the midrange where he is very dangerous and effective. That was not the case Thursday evening as rotations were crisp and players were able to recover resulting contested shots around the rim.

The Wizards played with an edge and tenacity on defense that was absent in Games 1 and 2. In fact, this was the first time since January 27th that Washington held an opponent under 90 points.

Now the Wizards have a blueprint that they can use and continue to add new wrinkles to in order to keep Thomas boxed in. It’s no easy task, but it’s pretty clear that if you can shut down Thomas, you can shut down the Celtics’ offense. If the Wizards make Thomas work hard on the defensive end and throw a bunch of different looks at him on the offensive end, it’ll give the Wizards a much better chance to win Game 4.

Celtics vs. Wizards Game 3: Washington blows out Boston 116-89 for first series win

Six Washington players score in double figures led by John Wall with 24 and 19 from Bojan Bogdanovic off the bench as the Wizards blow out the Celtics, 116-89. After giving up big first quarter leads in the first two games, this game was never in doubt after the midway point of the first quarter.

With the game tied at 12 early, Washington did what they’ve done best in this series and got out to a big lead. Washington used an unthinkable 22-0 run which included jumpers from John Wall and three three-pointers from Bojan Bogdanovic to get the reserves going. Washington shot 59 percent in the period and never looked back as they led, 39-17.

Things were brewing between Kelly Oubre and Kelly Olynyk early in the second quarter. Olynyk set a hard screen on Oubre early on. Just a couple of possessions later, Olynyk set another hard screen on Oubre which he wasn’t too fond of and Oubre retaliated by running over Olynyk.

Oubre would get ejected from the game.

Unlike the first two games, the Wizards did not give Isaiah Thomas a pass on defense. On almost every possession, the Wizards threw the ball into the post for whichever player was matched up on Thomas and they’d go to work in the post. Otto Porter was one of those guys who knocked down two post up shots over Thomas and knocked down his first seven field goals of the game as well.

Porter scored 15 in the half as the Wizards led 63-40 at the break.

After stretching the lead out to 26, Boston made an inevitable run to cut the lead to 18. But Washington had an answer for every Boston run. John Wall took over and attacked the hoop resulting in 10 free throw attempts tonight. Washington stretched the lead back out to 27 as Wall found Morris for their patented alley-oop.

Two players in Brandon Jennings and Terry Rozier who’ve also had history in this series got into it as well. The two were jawing at each other which ended up in both players being ejected.

Fortunately for Washington, Wall and Beal were able to rest for the entire fourth quarter as the bench would close this one out, 116-89.

Washington ended this game in the first quarter

The game was tied at 12 early on. Then the Wizards went on a 22-0 lead to blow this one open and never looked back. After struggling mightily in Game 2, Bradley Beal got cooking early as he scored the first seven points for Washington. Wall was able to get out and attack in transition to either finish at the rim or find open shooters. Washington connected on 5-6 three-pointers in the first quarter as they led 39-17 and never looked back.

This game was very chippy

It all actually started when Ian Mahinmi and Jonas Jerebko got tied up underneath the hoop. The two went face to face but nothing happened as both players received technical fouls. As mentioned, Kelly Oubre had two hard screens set on him and took exception to the second one in decking Olynyk. It’ll be interesting to see if Oubre gets suspended for a game as a result.

Last but not least, the pesky Jennings got under Rozier’s skin as the two chirped back and forth with both players getting ejected. Ironically enough, Morris and Horford never got into it tonight.

The Wizards went right at Thomas

In the first two games, the Wizards didn’t attack Thomas all too much. In this one, they found out where he was on the floor defensively and immediately posted him up. Thomas got no passes on defense and the Wizards exploited his height.

Wizards vs. Celtics Game 2 final score: Wall’s 40 not enough to lift Wizards in 129-119 overtime loss

Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points in an overtime thriller as the Celtics beat the Wizards 129-119 to take a 2-0 series lead on Tuesday night. John Wall did his best to keep Washington in this one with 40 points and 13 assists but it wouldn’t be enough as the Wizards ran out of gas late, getting outscored 25-9 over the final 7:43 of the game.

Just like in Game 1, the Wizards were hot early. Washington started 6-9 from the field including 3-4 from three-point range as the Wizards enjoyed the early lead. There were question marks going into the game about Markieff Morris’ health and his productivity if he did play, but Morris put those question marks to bed with 10 points in the period. He even added a little shove to Al Horford as he fell out of bounds to remind that he wasn’t too fond of his Bruce Bowen-like closeout in Game 1.

There was a scary moment for Wizards fans as John Wall went up to block a shot from Kelly Olynyk only to land on the wrist that he broke back in the 2015 playoffs. But Wall shook it off as he ended the quarter with 19 points and 6 assists as the Wizards scored a season-high 42 points in the period.

The bench also mimicked their Game 1 performance, allowing the Celtics to go on a quick run to start the second period. Understanding the importance of this game, Brooks didn’t play his bench for long as the starters checked back in at the 8:29 mark.

The second quarter had an up and down pace where defense was optional as the team traded three-point baskets and transition opportunities. Al Horford got free for a three-pointer to give the Celtics a 59-58 lead late in the period but the Wizards finished out the half strong and led, 67-64 at halftime.

The Wizards started the second half hot connecting on six of their first seven field goals and went on a 14-0 run to take a 81-67 lead. However, the momentum was short lived as Otto Porter got hit in the nose and started bleeding while Morris picked up his fourth foul on the same play as both players exited the game. With Porter and Morris out of the game, the Celtics cut the lead to three, 87-84 entering the fourth quarter.

It took nearly the entire game, but Bradley Beal got going with eight points to start the fourth quarter, but the final period would belong to Isaiah Thomas. Whenever it looked like the Wizards might stretch the lead, Thomas answered with big shot after big shot. He scored 24 in the fourth quarter including two free throws to tie the game at 114. The Wizards had a final possession to win the game but Wall missed his shot and Beal missed the follow-up on the rebound.

Thomas continued his takeover in overtime. With the Celtics up 120-117, he knifed down the lane for a layup to give the Celtics a five-point lead. Then, after a Kelly Oubre dunk, Thomas crossed up Morris and got fouled to give the Celtics a 125-119 lead and effectively sealed the win.

Wizards can’t capitalize on a terrific first quarter

The Wizards could do no wrong in the first period. Wall scored 19 points while Morris chipped in with 10, bummed ankle and all as the Wizards shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first period. Washington’s game plan was to go at Isaiah Thomas early and it worked. Every player who Thomas was guarding immediately went into the post to back down the smaller player. Wall was the most effective as he was able to score and pass out of double teams when they came which led to easy baskets for Washington.

Washington knocked down five three-pointers in the opening period en route to a 42-29 lead.

Washington didn’t match Boston’s physicality 

This was a very physical game right from the get-go. Morris threw Al Horford out of bounds early on as he wasn’t too fond of him landing under his foot in Game 1 and that set the tone. Boston left the Wizards with bumps and bruises as Porter got a bloody nose, Oubre dinged in the chin, and the entire team getting outmuscled on the glass.

The Wizards will need to be the more physical team in Game 3 if they have any shot to win that one.

Every possession counts in the playoffs 

John Wall was terrific tonight but one late turnover gave the Celtics an easy basket which the Wizards never recovered from. Washington committed 18 turnovers tonight with many of them coming on lazy passes. The Wizards did everything they needed to walk away with the victory but made too many mental errors to overcome and couldn’t execute down the stretch.

Wizards at Celtics Game 1 Final: Wizards have no answer for Thomas, lose 123-111.

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.

Wizards at Celtics Final: Washington no-shows against the Celtics, lose 110-102.

The Celtics beat the Wizards 110-102 in a game that was not nearly as close as the final score would indicate. Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 25 points while Avery Bradley chipped with 20 as the Boston victory gives them a 2.5 game lead over Washington in the standings.

Washington started this one out well connecting on 8-13 shots including eight points from Beal as they took and early 19-12 lead. That was short-lived however as Boston would counter with a 12-0 run of their own to regain control, 24-19. Bradley Beal scored 12 points in the period and the Wizards shot 45 percent but Boston shot and impressive 54 percent as they led 30-28 after one.

Brandon Jennings, who has struggled to score since joining the Wizards broke out of that slump tonight. Jennings came in and was instant offense for Washington as he scored 10 points to go along with seven assists tonight.

Things got chippy between Brandon Jennings and Terry Rozier midway through the period. Jennings looked to initiate contact and as the two were crossing half court, Rozier bulldozed Jennings over.

Cooler heads would prevail however the Celtics would go on a 16-5 run after the scuffle to gain control of this game and take a 58-47 lead into halftime.

The Celtics continued that run into the third quarter as they stretched the lead out to 20, 74-54 at the blink of an eye and enjoyed a comfortable, 92-75 lead after three quarters.

Jason Smith showed a bit of life for the Wizards hitting on two corner threes as the bench made a last-ditch effort to come back in this one. Kelly Oubre stripped Isaiah Thomas at halfcourt and jammed it home as the Wizards were able to get within six, 106-100 with two minutes to play.

However Marcus Smart would answer on the other end and that would be that. Wizards lose 110-102.

Wizards get crushed on the glass

Washington was outrebounded 54-39 on the glass tonight and gave up a season-high 20 offensive rebounds. The Celtics were making all of the hustle plays which was not good for Washington considering that the Celtics played yesterday. The frontcourt of Gortat-Morris-Porter combined for just 11 rebounds while Kelly Olynyk, a bench player, snagged 11 rebounds for the Celtics off the bench.

Wizards struggle from 3

Washington was just 8-35 from three-point range tonight with Beal and Smith combining to knock down six of those. Otto Porter, the league’s best shooter missed all three three-point attempts tonight while Markieff Morris was just 1-6 in his first game back from his illness. Additionally, Bojan Bogdanovic seems to have hit a cold streak too as he missed all five of his attempts.