Ford Keys to the Game: Wizards 82, Celtics 114
Wizards 83, Celtics 114
When Boston's reserves came off the bench to close out the game for the entire fourth quarter, the C's had already built an enormous lead, but credit has to be given to those bench players for extending it over the final 12 minutes of play. That was great to watch, but it was the exact opposite of what that group did during its stint of playing time in the first half.
The starters dominated this game from the get-go and played a huge role in opening up a 10-point lead with 1:37 remaining in the first quarter. But as the reserves began to trickle in as the first period closed and the second quarter began, that lead quickly dwindled. At the end of the first quarter the lead was down to five and Washington was able to cut it to three in the early stages of the second. That's when Doc Rivers realized it was time to let his big dogs eat.
Ray Allen was the first starter to return, at the 7:27 mark, and he was quickly followed by Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett. In just 1:26 of time when those three were back on the court together, the Celtics bumped the lead from three points to nine. Then Paul Pierce came in and the run just continued.
Before you knew it, the Celtics had turned a three-point lead into a 16-point advantage, and this game was in the bag from that point on. Boston's starting five was literally unstoppable tonight, as they combined to shoot 35-of-49 from the floor, good for 71.4 percent. They opened up the game in the first quarter, rebuilt a lead in the second quarter and blew the Wizards away in the third. Not a bad night at all after three days off.
Key Box Score Line
What can you really expect from a guy who's been serving a 10-game suspension all season and hasn't even practiced with the team more than a handful of times since the regular season began? Well, after tonight's performance by Delonte West, the answer is "a lot."
West came off the bench to make his season debut against the Wizards tonight and played incredible basketball. The stat line he put together on night one of his season is what the Celtics would be delighted to see for the remainder of the season, that is undoubtedly true. West dropped 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and also impacted the game with five rebounds and four assists. On top of that, his defense was up to snuff, as he also managed to chip in a steal and a blocked shot, too.
Ray Allen said before the game that it would be unfair to place expectations on West during his first game of the season. Allen said he just wanted West to go out there and be himself and do his job. That's exactly what he did, and the hope is that this type of game becomes an expectation, rather than a surprising night, for West as the season plays out
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston scored at least 25 points in every quarter.
- Paul Pierce scored a game-high 23 points.
- Rajon Rondo out-assisted the entire Wizards team, 13-12, in only 30 minutes of playing time.
- No Celtics starter played more than Rajon Rondo's 30:14.
- Nick Young's 20 points were a team-high for Washington.
- All five starters scored in double-figures for Boston and they combined to shoot 35-of-49 (71.4 percent) from the floor.
- No starter for Washington made more than four shots.
- The Celtics shot 65.8 percent from the floor and 61.5 percent from 3-point range.
- Boston made a whopping 50 field goals in the game, 19 more than Washington's 31.
- Shaquille O'Neal was on the court for 22:22 of the game.
- In his first game of the season, Delonte West scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists.
- JaVale McGee pulled in a game-high 10 rebounds.
- Only four Wizards players recorded an assist, compared to nine by the Celtics.
- Boston made more 3-pointers (eight) than free throws (six).
- The Celtics' biggest lead was 37, while the Wizards' was only three.
- Boston outscored Washington 56-28 in the paint.
- Glen Davis' eight rebounds were a team-high.
- The C's limited Washington to only two fast break points.
Quote of the Night
Gilbert Arenas on the Celtics dominating the Wizards on Wednesday, just one night after Washington picked up a big win at home: "These are one of them games where you’re on the playground and you beat somebody up, and then the real bully comes and beats you up. We played great last night. We beat a team and we’re all jumping up like, “YEAH!” And then the big fish came and whooped us up."