The Boston Celtics rested their top six rotation during Thursday's regular-season finale, yet still managed to take the Washington Wizards down to the wire. If it wasn't for Thomas Bryant's clutch scoring down the stretch, Boston likely would've finished off the campaign with a victory.
Bryant played like a man on a mission, likely because this was his team's last game inside the NBA bubble before heading home. He scored a game-high 26 points, which included four critical crunch-time makes.
Boston led 85-83 with seven minutes remaining in the contest, before Bryant singelhandedly turned the game around. He tallied the game's next six points, connecting on a mid-range jumper, a lay-up, and two free-throws, putting the Wizards on top, 89-85 at the 4:48 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Celtics had a number of chances to pull back within one possession, but could never close the gap as they fell 96-90.
Javonte Green earned his first major minutes of the summer Thursday afternoon, and used them to produce the best game of his NBA career.
With Boston's regular rotation players resting up for the Playoffs, Green was given a spot in the starting rotation. He came out on fire, scoring 11 points during the opening frame. He nearly doubled his previous career-high in scoring (12 points), by pouring in a game-high 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field, 3-of-9 from 3-point range and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Green is normally known for his high-flying dunks, but this was the first time he displayed his shooting range. He had never made more than one 3-pointer in a game prior Thursday, but he tripled that total during the final six minutes of the first quarter alone.
It couldn't have been a better regular-season finale for Green, who showed to coach Brad Stevens that he's a guy who could be turned to down the line if the team needs a quick scoring burst.
Box Score Nuggets
- Javonte Green (23 points) came one point shy of doubling his previous career-high in scoring (12 points).
- Thomas Bryant led the game in scoring with 26 points.
- Vincent Poirier tallied team-highs and career-highs of nine rebounds and three blocks.
- Semi Ojeleye and Grant Williams both also corralled career-highs in rebounds with eight boards apiece.
- The Celtics and Wizards both attempted 88 field goals, but Boston finished with one more make (35).
- Jonathan Williams recorded 16 rebounds in 23 minutes.
- Boston dominated the inside-scoring game, finishing with a 48-32 advantage in points in the paint.
- Tremont Waters' five steals were tied for the most that any Celtics player has had in a game all season.
- Neither team ever led by double-digits.
- The Celtics finished their regular season with a record of 48-24
Quote of the Night
I thought we had a few guys today that played really hard. Javonte was obviously at the top of that list.