The Wizards welcomed the Boston Celtics to the Verizon Center last night as they met for the third time this season. Both teams made sure they protected their home court when they played each other the previous two times splitting the wins. The Wizards made sure they sent a message before tip-off by arriving to the arena in all black, “funeral style.” Lots was made about the teams dressing in black on social media as players were walking into the building, more importantly Washington took care of business. Getting a 123-108 victory, they put a bit of pressure on themselves because had they lost, that would of been talked about for quite a while. The Wizards continued their strong play at home, pushing their home win streak to 14 consecutive games.
“Yeah, It was a team thing. We just wanted to have fun man. That is all we were doing. It was nothing personal. Of course it was a subliminal, but we were just having fun at the end of the day.” – Wizards Guard Bradley Beal
Boston dealt Washington a loss on January 11th, they looked to go up one in the series in the much anticipated match and become the first team in this year’s season series to win on the opponents home court.. The Wizards came into the games 24-20, with a home record of 18-6 and in fifth place in the Eastern conference. After last night’s win, they currently find themselves just five games behind the Conference leading Cavaliers.
The battle of the point guards was proving to be a great matchup with Isaiah Thomas and John Wall, Thomas had the advantage and going into halftime with 17 points to Wall’s 13. At the end of the game Wall finished with 27 points and the “W” while Thomas had 25 in the Celtics loss.
“Just playing aggressive. We know we we’re playing against two great teams like that and especially (when you’re playing against a superstar like Isaiah Thomas) with a heck of a coach over there, you got to come out and be aggressive from the start. We competed for the whole 48 minutes and we needed to get the win we got today.” – Wizards Guard John Wall
The Wizards displayed great defense throughout the first quarter holding the Celtics to about 39% shooting on 9-23 attempts and 2-12 from beyond the arc. Washington shot just under 74% from the field in the first quarter and went 4-7 from the three-point line. Wall ended the first quarter with a buzzer beater bank shot fading away, giving the Wizards a 33-24 lead going into the second quarter. They also out rebounded the Celtics 11-6 in the quarter but had four more turnovers.
In the second quarter the Wizards pushed their lead to double digits leading by 12 at one point in the game. They saw their 12-point lead diminish and found themselves up by three with less than four minutes left in the first half. While the Celtics kept their turnovers limited to just three in the first half, in the third quarter the Wizards forced them to commit 8 turnovers.
Four out of five of the starters for the Wizards finished the game in double digits, Bradley Beal had a game high of 31 points on 12-18 shooting. Washington pulled away late in the fourth quarter, Bradley Beal did most of his damage in the fourth where he scored 13 points. The Celtics seemed like they fell apart and ran out of gas in the closing minutes, they had a few turnovers which led to easy fast break points on the Wizards end. The home team closed the casket in the end with an impressive 15-point victory over the Celtics, they play their last game against of this regular season series on March 20.
The Wizards are looking sharper than they did in the beginning of the season and have now won 15 of their last 21 games.
Field Goal %: From the beginning of the game until the ending the Wizards shot the ball well, they came out and hit their first six shots in the game and finished shooting about 58% from the field.
3-Point Shooting: They shot the ball better from the three-point line compared to the Celtics, the Wizards finished 9-20, 45%, while the Celtics shot 10-33, around 30%.
Rebounding: The Wizards were plus ten when it came to rebounds, they finished the game with 48 boards and the Celtics finished with 38. Markieff Morris accounted for 11 of those rebounds, but none of the Celtics starters had over six rebounds.
Points in Paint: The Wizards were also plus ten when it came to scoring in the paint, they accounted for 50 points in the paint compared to the Celtics 40 points.
Fast Break Points: The Wizards forced the issue when they were able to get out on the break, they scored 23 fast break points, converting on a couple and-1 opportunities late in the fourth quarter to push the lead up to 15. The Celtics accounted for 16 fast break points, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Wizards.