Behind a 26-0 run in the third quarter, after being down as much as 12 points, Washington stormed back to a 121-102 victory over Boston, tying the series at two games a piece.
Thanks to a brilliant performance by Washington’s starting five, the Wizards were able to get blitz Boston offensively. From John Wall speeding to the rim for a and-1 layups to Bradley Beal doing his damage from beyond the arc, it was a complete offensive game for Washington. Four out of the five starters finished the night in double figures, led by John Wall’s 27 points and 12 assists. Beal chipped in with a game high 29 points while Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris tallied 18 and 16 points respectively.
While Washington’s defense struggled in the first half (giving up five three point shots to Isaiah Thomas alone), they “flipped the switch” the second half, holding Boston to just 54 total points. For a second straight game, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas was “held in check,” scoring only 19 points while committing a team-high six turnovers. Boston only had three people in double figures, shooting only 44 percent for the game as a team. Washington owned the Celtics in almost every category, rebounding, assists, and ultimately shooting high a higher percentage from the field. In fact in every home game against the Celtics this season, Washington has won by no less than 18 points, extending their home dominance over Boston.
As the series swings back to Boston for Game 5, Washington should feel optimistic about their chances of stealing a game on the road. While they have not has success stopping Thomas and the Celtics so far at home, they have climbed to huge leads in games one and two, before squandering them away. In fairness, it took two historical performances from Thomas to secure the wins, but Washington has faced their demons on the road this playoffs. The Wizards are undefeated at home in these playoffs, compared to 1-4 on the road so far. If Washington plays (and maintains) the level they showed in nearly every game this series, they should escape Boston with a win. Their defense on Thomas will be the deciding factor on who wins. When Thomas is hot, scoring at will and getting his teammates involved, Washington has no shot. But if Wall and Beal contain Thomas like they did in games three and four, Washington should win, convincingly. And with Kelly Oubre Jr. returning from a one game suspension, Washington will be back to full strength.
Game five will be on Wednesday May, 10, at 8 P.M. EST.