Ford Keys to the Game

Celtics 104, Wizards 102

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Jeff Green, Kendrick Perkins

Kevin Garnett soars through the air for a huge dunk during Boston's 104-102 win Thursday night.
Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

With the score tied at 98-98 and just more than a minute remaining in the game, Rajon Rondo decided it was time to make the Washington fans jump out of their seats -- and not in a celebratory manner.

Rondo dribbled the ball on the left wing and set up an oncoming screen from Kevin Garnett. KG's pick did the trick, freeing Rondo to turn the corner and drive the baseline, giving him options to put the C's ahead. But there weren't any options in his mind. Rondo was taking this one himself.

As he sped down the baseline with an opening in front of him, Rondo took off from the block, flying through the air for an emphatic slam that sent everyone else flying out of their seats as if they were watching an And1 Mixtape move.

That dunk put Boston ahead by two with 1:08 remaining and they never trailed from that point on. Free throws from Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins sealed the game and sent the Celts to their ninth straight victory.

Key Box Score Line

You already know that Rondo made the most important play of the game, but that's not the only time he came up big. Rondo finds himself with the Key Box Score Line for the second consecutive night because he is the only player in the game to record a double-double, and at times he was dominant against the Wizards. On a night when Paul Pierce struggled with foul trouble, Rondo stepped up his game and led his team to victory.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Ray Allen surpassed 20,000 career points with a 3-pointer in the second half of tonight's game.
  • Boston won the game, but none of their starters finished with a positive +/- rating. Kevin Garnett finished with a zero, while every other starter was in the negative
  • The Celtics limited Washington, the third-best rebounding team in the league, to only 34 rebounds.
  • The Wizards tied an NBA record in the second quarter when the failed to grab a single rebound.
  • Andray Blatche grabbed five steals off the bench for Washington.
  • Rajon Rondo made 10 of his 20 field goal attempts, including a couple of jumpers.
  • Tony Allen played only 17 minutes, but Boston outscored Washington by 14 points while he was on the court.
  • Gilbert Arenas, who averaged 3.5 turnovers per game heading into tonight, gave the ball up to the Celtics four times.
  • Caron Butler scored only 10 points in 41 minutes of playing time.
  • Washington actually made four more field goals (41) than the Celtics (37) as well as more 3-pointers (six for Washington, four for Boston).
  • In a rarity, the Celtics were out-assisted tonight by a count of 21-20.
  • Both teams committed 14 turnovers and both teams shot 33.3 percent from the 3-point line.

Quote of the Night

Wizards Head Coach Flip Saunders on tonight's game: "We can't shoot 63 percent from the free throw line against great teams. We can't give up layups. We played good defense in the second half that put us in position, but you can't give up a dunk with the score tied 98-98."