Wizards vs. Celtics final score: Washington delivers statement in 111-103 win over Boston

The Washington Wizards executed down the stretch to take care of business and beat the Boston Celtics 111-103 for their first Christmas Day victory since 2014.

Washington spread the holiday cheer around today as all five starters plus Kelly Oubre scored in double figures tonight led by Bradley Beal with 25. John Wall turned in one of his best all-around games with 21 points and 14 assists and Otto Porter came up big, especially in the second the half, scoring 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

This was the Wizards team we’ve been waiting for. Let’s hope this is the game that sparks the Wizards’ turnaround after an underwhelming start to the season.

Takeaways

Washington executes late

Kyrie Irving hit a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter to put the Celtics up 95-90. It looked like Washington had lost all their momentum after leading for most of the game. Scott Brooks called a timely timeout and opted to go with the small ball lineup of Wall, Beal, Oubre, Porter, and Morris to end the game. Boy, did it pay dividends.

Washington went on a quick 12-0 run to retake the lead, fueled by several offensive rebounds and highlighted by a corner three-pointer from Kelly Oubre. The Wizards were under control during this stretch and never settled for jumpers that weren’t there. As a result, they generated open shots for Morris and Porter as well as an easy dunk for Oubre.

When it was all said and done, the Wizards outscored the Celtics 21-8 over the final 6:18 to put the game away and reverse the team’s trend of giving games away in the closing minutes.

Kelly Oubre provides the Wizards’ only spark off the bench

Oubre played just six seconds in Game 7 of their series with Boston last season. Tonight, he provided a big spark off of the bench for Washington and was a main key to the victory.

The bench scored just 11 points in the first half with Oubre accounting for nine of them. He was active on the defensive end with numerous deflections and one steal resulting in a dunk for Bradley Beal in transition.

His jumper wasn’t falling early as he missed all three of his three-pointers in the first half, but that didn’t stop him from attacking the hole. He got his first basket of the game in transition with a thunderous dunk and foul.

The third-year wing came up big for the Wizards down the stretch with a set of offensive rebounds and a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter to give the Wizards the lead for good.

John Wall looked like himself (sort of)

As mentioned, John Wall was terrific in this one, scoring 21 points to go along with 14 assists. However, he was just 8-of-19 from the floor. He struggled with his jumper missing on all three of his three-point attempts and was only able to convert on shots around the hole.

Once Wall got others involved, that’s when things opened up for the Wizards. He notched eight assists after halftime as the Wizards were able to mount the late comeback. He reverted back to getting others involved which is where he thrives. That was one of the main reasons why the Wizards were able to win this game.

Game Notes

  • Apparently, Mike Scott is human. He scored just two points tonight on 1-of-5 shooting.
  • Free throw shooting remains an issue. The Wizards were just 19-28 from the charity stripe tonight.
  • Marcin Gortat notched another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Next up: The Wizards kick travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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The Aussie’s didn’t make things easy, but the Americans sneak out with a 98-88 victory.

With 1:30 to play, Kyrie Irving hit a step-back three similar to the one in Game 7 of the Finals for the proverbial dagger as the United States hangs on to beat Australia, 98-88.

Carmelo Anthony was the high-scorer for the Americans scoring 31 points on 9-15 shooting from three-point range. With this scoring output, Carmelo passed LeBron James for most combined points scored by an American.

Australia was not intimidated. They punched the Americans in the face and as a result, the US was tentative and frustrated at times. Things got chippy between Paul George and Matthew Dellavedova early as the two got tangled up resulting in a technical foul for George.

The Australians don’t have a stretch-4 and Carmelo Anthony took full advantage of the mismatch. Melo scored 14 points in the first quarter on 5-7 shooting including 4-5 from three-point range.

It looked like the United States might separate from the Aussie’s as they started the second quarter on a 7-2 run but Australia countered with a 7-0 run of their own. The Australians shot an incredible 68 percent from the field and led, 54-49 at halftime.

After going just 2-10 from the field in the first half, Kevin Durant hit his first jumper of the third quarter. That wouldn’t get the All-Star going.

Things continued to stay chippy as Andrew Bogut fouled Kyrie Irving along the sideline which resulted in Irving laying on the floor; but no technical foul was called.

Anthony caught fire again to start the fourth quarter connecting on his first three three-pointers. Kyrie Irving came alive connecting on several key shots as the duo scored 26 of the team’s 28 fourth quarter points.

Kyrie Irving would hit a step back three to all but ice the game. It wasn’t easy, but the Americans sneak out with a 98-88 win.

Kyrie and Carmelo Takeover: Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony combined to score 26 of the 28 fourth quarter points for the Americans. It was Carmelo early, knocking down three three-pointers just minutes into the quarter and Irving late with several nice shots including a step-back three to ice the game. Melo was hot early and late evidenced by his 14 first quarter points and 13 fourth quarter points.

New Golden State Trio: The trio of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green struggled tonight shooting a combined 8-30 from the field for 27 points. Thompson was taken out of the starting lineup in favor for Paul George. Thompson hit his first three of the game and it looked like he may have turned the corner but that wasn’t the case as he went 1-8 from the field the rest of the way. Durant’s shot was off tonight and tried to counter that by getting to the line. Only thing is, in international play, you’re allowed to commit more contact so calls he would have received in an NBA game, he wasn’t getting tonight.

The Americans are back in action on Friday where they’ll take on Serbia.