Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Celtics will go as far as Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker take them. Tuesday night, that duo took Boston straight into the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Tatum and Walker led Boston past Washington during the play-in game for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They were both outstanding from start to finish, but they really heated up at the start of the second half to provide the Celtics with a lead they never relinquished.

After trailing 54-52 at the break, Tatum and Walker combined to score 17 of the first 19 points of the second half to push Boston ahead 69-56. All but two of those 17 points were scored via three-point plays, as Tatum sandwiched a conventional three-point play and a triple from the left wing around three straight 3-pointers from Walker. Tatum also scored on a difficult fadeaway over Ish Smith during the run.

Boston’s perimeter duo required only three minutes and 39 seconds to complete the run before Washington called for a timeout. That timeout couldn’t stop the momentum Boston had built, however, as the C’s went on to pull ahead by as many as 22 points, their lead never dropped below seven points and they went on to complete a 118-100 victory.

Key Player

In the long and storied history of NBA play-in games, no performance has ever topped what Jayson Tatum did Tuesday night.

OK, only a few of these games have ever been played, but that doesn’t really matter. In the foreseeable future, no one’s gonna top what Tatum did Tuesday night. What he did was special.

While Washington’s entire team scored 100 points, Boston’s immaculately talented wing scored exactly half that amount all on his own. That’s right: a 50-piece to open up the postseason.

The key to Tatum’s scoring was his ability to get to the free-throw line and succeed there. He set a new career high with 17 made free throws on 17 attempts. Five of his 14 made field goals were from beyond the arc.

Tatum also stuffed the rest of the stat sheet with eight rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and one steal during 40-plus minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Four of Boston's five starters finished with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-17.
  • Jayson Tatum scored 50 points and made as many free throws (17) as Washington's entire team.
  • Kemba Walker was the game's second-leading scorer with 29 points.
  • Bradley Beal (22 points) and Russell Westbrook (20 points) led Washington.
  • Boston won despite shooting just 39.6 percent from the field.
  • Tristan Thompson compiled a clean double-double with 12 points and a team-best 12 rebounds.
  • The Celtics made 15 3-pointers, while Washington made just three.
  • No player in the game recorded more than six assists.
  • Washington outscored Boston in fast break points (14-11), in points in the paint (56-38) and in bench points (45-20) yet still lost going away.
  • Thompson's six offensive rebounds keyed Boston's 21 second-chance points.
  • Boston committed only 10 total turnovers.

Quote of the Night

"Everybody's path is different, and every year presents unique challenges. Sometimes more than others. And we've been through a lot, so we're hardened in a lot of ways."

Brad Stevens on his Celtics team

Key Player

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