Keys to the Game: Wizards 111, Celtics 103
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
The Washington Wizards ripped off a game-changing, 12-0 run faster than most kids could rip off the wrapping paper that engulfed their Christmas gifts this morning. The run was a game-changer, and it fueled Washington to a 111-103 victory.
Boston led 95-90 with 6:18 remaining in the game after Kyrie Irving splashed home a 3-pointer from straight away. The Wizards, however, were quick to answer, and in a big way.
John Wall cashed in on a step-back jumper on Washington’s next possession, and then Kelly Oubre Jr. rattled off five straight points via a cutting layup and a 3-pointer from right in front of Boston’s bench.
Oubre Jr.’s trey provided the Wizards with a 97-95 lead with 4:34 remaining, and they played from ahead for the rest of the night.
Terry Rozier committed a turnover at Boston’s end of the court before Bradley Beal dropped in an and-one layup on a 50-50 call at Washington’s end. Beal took Marcus Smart off the dribble, and as Smart shuffled to his left, Beal dropped his left shoulder into Smart’s chest and sent him flying backward and to the floor – a fall that may have been embellished a bit by Smart. The call could have gone either way, but this whistle went in Beal’s favor. He finished his layup, then converted on the free throw, to polish off a 12-0 Washington run that took only two minutes and six seconds to complete.
The closest Boston got from that point on was five points, and Washington scored the final three points of the game to finish off its victory.
On a night when Boston’s starters just didn’t have it as a group, Terry Rozier stepped up to give his team a chance at a win.
Rozier came off of Boston’s bench and scored 16 points, his highest total since notching 17 exactly one month ago in Indiana, to keep the C’s in the game. He made six of his nine shots, including four of his six attempts from long distance. Rozier tied Kelly Oubre Jr. for the most points scored by a reserve in the game.
Interestingly, as a point guard, Rozier also managed to lead all reserves in rebounds with seven. His total of seven boards trailed only Jaylen Brown’s nine on the team.
Each of Boston’s starters finished with a plus/minus rating of minus-eight or worse. Rozier, meanwhile, helped the C’s to outscore the Wizards by three points during his 26-plus minutes of action. He also contributed two assists and a steal in the game, and without him, this game may not have been as close as it was during the final minutes.
Box Score Nuggets
- Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum tied for the team-high in scoring with 20 points apiece.
- Washington outscored Boston 60-44 in the paint.
- The Celtics committed 16 turnovers, including four by Tatum, while the Wizards committed only eight.
- John Wall led the game with 14 assists, and he also scored 21 points.
- The Celtics (48.1 percent) shot it more efficiently from the field than the Wizards (46.2 percent), but Washington made (43-39) and attempted (93-81) more field goals than Boston.
- Eight players grabbed one steal each, and six of those players were on Washington's side.
- Daniel Theis, who totaled 12 points and four rebounds off the bench, led Boston with a plus/minus rating of plus-11.
- Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr. tied for the most points scored by a reserve with 16 apiece.
- Bradley Beal scored a game-high 25 points.
- Boston's bench outscored Washington's bench 43-20.
- Six Wizards scored at least 11 points.
- Boston's 14 made 3-pointers were eight more than Washington's total of six.
Quote of the Night
I thought their best players were comfortable all night. I didn't feel like we were into (Bradley) Beal at the level we needed to be. I thought we were really lucky that he had kind of an off-shooting night.
Brad Stevens on Boston's defensive performance against the Wizards.