Keys to the Game: Celtics 111, Wizards 110

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Jayson Tatum scored the go-ahead basket and then helped the Celtics get the game-winning stop at the other end.

This was, without a doubt, a clutch win by Tatum and the Celtics.

Tatum’s game-winning basket was scored with 4.7 seconds left on the clock. It followed a late turnover by Bradley Beal, who slipped and fell out of bounds with 12.4 seconds remaining.

Boston inbounded from underneath its own basket, and Tatum was chosen as its inbounder. He tossed a dangerous pass into traffic to Payton Pritchard, but Pritchard did an incredible job to reel it in and gain control of the possession.

The ball wasn’t in Pritchard’s hands for long, though, because Tatum immediately gained post position on Beal, one of his best friends, in the mid-post. Pritchard tossed the entry pass to Tatum and the All-Star wing eventually spun over his right shoulder and to the baseline, leaving Beal in the dust.

As Tatum entered the paint, Rui Hachimura was standing there waiting with help defense, but Tatum rose up and split Hachimura and Beal to create space for a double-clutch layup that dropped through the net with 4.7 seconds remaining.

Washington immediately called a timeout to draw up a potential game-winning play, but it was all for naught. They inbounded the ball in the frontcourt to Beal, who was immediately trapped there by Tatum and teammate Semi Ojeleye. It appeared as if Washington’s plan was for Beal to pass the ball away, but he couldn’t find a passing lane thanks to Tatum’s and Ojeleye’s perfectly-executed trap.

Beal, who scored a game-high 46 points, realized he had no option other than to fire up a desperation jumper from just inside the 3-point arc with 1.6 seconds left. To his credit, the high-arcing shot nearly dropped in, but it instead bounced off the front of the rim, then off the backboard and out into the paint as time expired.

Key Player

With Jaylen Brown missing Sunday night’s game with a sore left knee, Boston needed someone to step up and deliver well above his average in the scoring column. Daniel Theis was that guy.

Theis was a scoring threat all night long as he poured in 20 points against Washington, which fell just three points shy of his season high. He shot an efficient 8-for-11 from the field and scored 10 points during the fourth quarter to help the C’s stay in the game before Jayson Tatum carried them to the winner’s circle.

Theis also contributed nine rebounds, including three at the offensive end of the court, to go along with three assists and a steal during his 32-plus minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Bradley Beal led Washington in scoring with 46 points, and Jayson Tatum led Boston with 31 points.
  • Tristan Thompson led the game in rebounds with 13 despite playing less than 19 minutes.
  • Kemba Walker dished a game-high eight assists and also scored 21 points.
  • Tatum led the game in steals with three.
  • Daniel Theis scored 20 points to go along with nine rebounds.
  • Davis Bertans led all reserves with 20 points.
  • Tatum's plus-13 in the plus/minus category led the game.
  • Boston failed to block a shot for only the second time this season.
  • Washington made more free throws (25) than Boston attempted (24).
  • Beal and Russell Westbrook (24 points) combined for 70 points, but Washington's other three starters combined to score just two points.
  • Westbrook, who totaled 24 points and 11 rebounds, was the only player who notched a double-double.

Quote of the Night

Daniel Theis on Boston's ball movement