Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Celtics 117, Wizards 108

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Isaiah Thomas got it all started during Wednesday night’s fourth quarter. He finished it, too.

What a surprise, right?! Said no one. Ever.

Thomas, who entered the contest ranked second in the league in fourth-quarter scoring, is now the king of the final period in the NBA. He scored 20 points during Wednesday’s final frame to take his fourth-quarter total to 334 points on the season. He surpassed Russell Westbrook, who has scored 327 points in the same amount of fourth quarters (34).

The little guy played as big as ever when the game was on the line, and it started almost immediately when the fourth-quarter clock began to tick. He scored the first points of the final period on a driving, and-one layup that pushed Boston ahead 86-85, marking the team’s first lead since the 6:17 mark of the second quarter.

That was only the beginning, as Thomas caught absolute fire over the final 10-plus minutes of the period. As Brad Stevens stated, “He just went to a different level.” Meanwhile, the Celtics pulled ahead by as many as 12 as they ran off to a 117-108 win.

Thomas made seven field goals during the final quarter including a trio a 3-pointers. Washington called a timeout following one of those treys, while Thomas tapped his left wrist with his right pointer finger and basically stated, “This is my time.”

After the next trey, he turned around and high-fived his close friend, Floyd Mayweather, who was sitting courtside right behind him.

Later, after canning another deep 3 from the right wing, Thomas channeled his inner Michael Jordan, making a similar motion to MJ’s famous “The Shrug” move during the 1992 NBA Finals.

When a player makes The Shrug, it basically means nothing can stop him.

And nothing could.

Thomas was on another level on this night, scoring more points during the final frame than all but 32 players in the NBA average in an entire game.

That’s fourth-quarter dominance, and just the latest evidence that crunch time is Isaiah’s time.

Key Player

Who else, but Isaiah Thomas?

We already highlighted what he did during Wednesday’s fourth quarter. Now let’s explain what he did in the entire game.

Thomas scored a game-high 38 points, including 20 during the fourth. He connected on 14 of his 29 field goal attempts and five of his 11 3-pointers.

But that’s not all he did.

The point guard also hauled in six boards, more than double his season average of 2.6 rebounds per game. Six boards is pretty impressive for the smallest guy on the court. Additionally, IT dished out five assists to lead the Celtics.

The most interesting nugget from Thomas’ box score is the fact that he scored 38 points while logging exactly 38 minutes of playing time. You won’t see that happen again anytime soon.

A fourth-quarter performance like the one he put on Wednesday night? With the way Thomas has been playing, you might see that again as early as Friday in Atlanta.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 38 points in exactly 38 minutes of playing time.
  • Washington committed only eight total turnovers.
  • Jae Crowder scored 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting.
  • Each team led by double-digits at some point of the game.
  • Thomas led the Celtics with five assists.
  • Every Celtic who appeared in the game recorded an assist.
  • John Wall led the game with 10 assists.
  • Wall did, however, struggle to score, notching only nine points on 4-for-21 shooting.
  • Boston scored at least 28 points during three of the four quarters.
  • The C's canned 17 3s on 41 attempts (41.5 percent).
  • Al Horford tied with Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris for the game high in rebounds with nine.
  • Five Celtics blocked a shot, led by two apiece from Horford and Kelly Olynyk.
  • Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 35 points and he shot 6-for-10 from long distance.
  • Terry Rozier came off the bench to tally 11 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
  • Boston shot 8-for-10 on second-chance attempts, while Washington shot only 9-for-19.

Quote of the Night

He's been as impressive as I've seen someone play ... It's just been amazing to watch, how he manages to do it over and over.

Al Horford on Isaiah Thomas' unbelievable stretch of play.

Key Player

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