Ford Keys to the Game: Wizards at Celtics

Ford Keys to the Game

Wizards 106, Celtics 96

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Kevin Garnett

Rajon Rondo reaches in to try and steal the ball away from Nick Young of the Wizards.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

The final score of this game isn't a clear indication of how this game was played throughout the majority of tonight's 48 minutes of basketball. A run that spanned from the first to second quarter, however, is.

After Paul Pierce hit a jump shot at the 2:40 mark of the first quarter, the score was 20-17 with Washington in the lead. The Wizzrds were playing sound basketball at both ends of the court, but the C's were finding a way to hang around. But all of that changed over the course of the next few minutes.

While Boston struggled at the offensive end, Nick Young, JaVale McGee and Andray Blatch put together a run that changed the game. They combined to score 10 points over the final 2:40 of the period, and while that was taking place, the C's could not find their way on offense. In fact, they managed to get only five shots off during that time period, but three were blocked. The other two? They missed as well, and before you knew it, Boston was behind by 13 points heading into the second quarter.

And the bleeding didn't stop there. Spilling into the next period, the C's went all the way to the 7:05 mark before scoring a point, when Tony Allen got a layup to fall. That basket ended a scoring drought of 6:45 for Boston, but in that time they had already fallen behind by 21 points. That deficit grew to as many as 28 points, and it stayed in double-figures until the waning moments of the game when Nate Robinson managed to score 13 points in 1:18 of playing time to bring the score as close as the final tally looks.

Key Box Score Line

On a night that he was honored with the fifth-ever Red Auerbach Award, which was presented by Bob Cousy, Rajon Rondo didn't fail to deliver. He recorded team-highs of 17 points and 12 assists (also a game-high) and chipped in six boards to boot. He used a 7-of-13 shooting performance to notch those 17 points and also recorded three steals during his impressive performance.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Nate Robinson scored 13 points in 78 seconds of the fourth quarter, giving the C's a shot at a dramatic comeback. Those were his only 13 points of the game
  • Rajon Rondo recorded a team-high 17 points, game-highs of 12 assists and three steals, and also grabbed six rebounds.
  • Paul Pierce (nine points, 3-of-11 shooting) and Kevin Garnett (eight points, 3-of-12 shooting) both failed to break double-digits.
  • Boston's bench scored 42 points to the 20 scored by Washington's reserves.
  • The C's shot onlg 42.2 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from the free throw line.
  • Washington outrebounded Boston overall, by a count of 49-40, but the C's grabbed more offensive rebounds by a count of 14-10.
  • Andray Blatche recorded game-highs of 31 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Washington had three players score more points than Boston's leading scorer (Rondo with 17): Blatche with 31, Shaun Livingston with 25 and Nick Young with 19.
  • The Wizards committed 19 turnovers, while Boston limited themselves to 13.
  • Kendrick Perkins tied for the team-high with seven rebounds (along with Paul Pierce), but they all came in the first half.
  • Boston was whistled for 27 personal fouls.

Quote of the Night

Doc Rivers on Nate Robinson's ability to change a game: "I think Nate can just wake up and make shots; that's who he is. And that's – like I told you guys last week – Nate is not in our rotation right now but he'll win a playoff game for us. There'll be a game where we're flat and we're going to need somebody to come in and make something happen and Nate will do that. And I told him that yesterday, that there'll be a game where he's going to win this. He's going to win us a playoff game."