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

Key Moment

One play – from one end of the court to the other – may very well have saved the Celtics from giving away a win Friday night.

Boston, which led the Wizards by as many as 28 points during the contest, allowed that lead to drop all the way down to four with 7:36 left in the game. It needed to make a handful of important plays down the stretch in order to preserve its win, the most important of which began at the 2:27 mark.

With the Celtics leading by five, center Daniel Theis recovered from his help-defense position just in time to challenge a hook shot in the paint by Thomas Bryant. That contest forced a miss, and Theis grabbed the offensive rebound before handing it off to Marcus Smart to initiate the fast break.

Smart led the break just as any coach would teach a young player. He attacked the defense and drove toward the middle of the paint, which drew the attention of all five defenders who were on the floor, most notably Davis Bertans. Bertans originally was stuck to Jaylen Brown along the left sideline, but he needed to drop toward the paint to take away Smart’s drive.

Smart burned Bertans and the Wizards for that decision.

Smart read the play perfectly and immediately kicked the ball to Brown in the corner. Brown caught the ball, wide open, in front of Washington’s bench and quickly fired up a trey that rolled around the rim and fell through to give the Celtics a comfortable 109-101 lead.

Boston had no problem hanging on from there. Its lead never again dropped below seven before it finished with a 116-107 win.

Key Player

Jaylen Brown led the Boston Celtics in a whole lot of categories Friday night, so who cares if one of them wasn’t the scoring column?

Brown tied his career high by hauling in 13 boards against Washington. Each one of those rebounds was critical, as the Celtics were missing 60 percent of their frontcourt players on the roster due to health concerns. They needed someone else to step in and crash the glass, and Brown did exactly that.

Boston’s emerging young star also tied for the team high in both assists (five) and steals (two) during his 37-plus minutes of action. Not to be forgotten, Brown also contributed 27 points on 9-for-19 shooting that included a 3-for-6 effort from long range. That total trailed only Jayson Tatum’s 32 points on the team.

The Celtics outscored Washington by 21 points while Brown was on the court.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Bradley Beal (41 points) and Jayson Tatum (32 points), who are close friends from St. Louis, led their respective teams in scoring.
  • Boston led by as many as 28 points.
  • Jaylen Brown tied his career high with 13 rebounds and also tied for the team lead in assists (five) and steals (two) while scoring 27 points.
  • Boston made more free throws (22) than Washington attempted (16).
  • The Celtics limited Russell Westbrook to just 12 points on 4-for-16 shooting, all while forcing him into a game-high seven rebounds.
  • Payton Pritchard shot a perfect 3-for-3 from long range.
  • Both teams scored 44 points in the paint and 13 fast break points.
  • Tacko Fall blocked a team-high three shots, a total that fell just one short of Washington's team total.
  • Semi Ojeleye, who totaled eight points and five rebounds, finished with the game's best plus/minus rating at plus-23.
  • Marcus Smart scored nine of his 13 points from the free-throw line thanks to a 9-for-11 performance.
  • Boston finished with a not-so-good assist-to-turnover ratio of 1-to-1 (21 assists and 21 turnovers).

Quote of the Night

"It means a lot, because to have people that have believed in you from the first day that they met you, and the whole organization has."

Tacko Fall on the team celebrating his performance in the locker room

Key Player

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