Ford Keys to the Game: Wizards 76, Celtics 88
Wizards 76, Celtics 88
Tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards wasn’t over before it started, but it sure was close.
The game started out with the standard score of 0-0, and that’s as close as the Wizards were to winning this game all night long. Boston opened up the contest about as perfectly as it could and jumped out to an immediate 15-2 lead. Two men, Avery Bradley and Kevin Garnett, combined for all of those 15 points.
Garnett opened up the game with two free throws, but then this game turned into the Avery Bradley show. Thanks to some nifty passing from Rajon Rondo and Garnett, Bradley scored the next six Boston points on either layups or dunks. After Garnett made a layup of his own, Bradley showed off some range and drilled a 3-pointer to put the Celtics ahead 13-2. The final bucket of the run fittingly arrived off of a layup by Bradley to put Boston ahead by 13 points with 7:34 remaining in the first quarter.
While Bradley was reaping the benefits of some phenomenal team offense by the Celtics, Washington was struggling to do anything effectively at the other end of the court. It began the game by missing its first seven shots from the field. The Wizards did not make a basket until the 7:19 mark of the first quarter.
These two teams came out of the gates and were polar opposites offensively. Boston’s efficient and team-oriented offense could not be stopped, while Washington’s offense couldn’t get started. Once Boston jumped ahead by double-digits for the first time, at 13-2, the lead fell into single-digits for a total of only 18 seconds during the remainder of the game. That’s what you call winning a game from start to finish.
Key Box Score Line
If anyone was worried about the Celtics playing without Ray Allen for the second consecutive game, Avery Bradley put those worries to rest in a hurry. Bradley dominated the first quarter of tonight’s game by making his first seven shots from the field and wound up scoring a game-high 23 points. That number also sets a new career high in the scoring column for the second-year guard.
Bradley wound up shooting 9-for-14 on the night and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. The good news for he and the Celtics is that many of those points came via jumpers, including one 3-pointer. Bradley also chipped in three rebounds, one assist and one steal, all the while not committing a single turnover.
Box Score Nuggets
- Avery Bradley (23 points) and Paul Pierce (21 points) both scored more points than the highest-scoring Wizards player, which was Jordan Crawford (20 points).
- Both teams had five players score in double-figures.
- Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 11 assists.
- Brandon Bass blocked a game-high three shots.
- Washington shot just 34.5 percent from the field.
- Both teams made three 3-pointers.
- Four Celtics grabbed at least five rebounds, led by Pierce's eight.
- Kevin Garnett logged 10 points, five rebounds and six assists.
- Boston was nearly perfect from the free-throw line, where it shot 17-of-18.
- Greg Stiemsma put together another solid performance with 10 points and seven rebounds.
- John Wall led the Wizards with nine assists.
- Kevin Seraphin recorded the game's only double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
- Trevor Booker grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
- Boston led from start to finish, with its largest lead being 25 points.
Quote of the Night
Paul Pierce on Avery Bradley: "We always tell him when he pushes the ball and attacks the rim, we don’t think everyone can stay in front of him. That’s something he has to do a little bit more. You know he loses his defender on the backdoor cuts, he’s so fast and explosive that he can go up and dunk those. And it’s just good to watch a guy like Avery mature right before your eyes over the last couple of years."