Washington hung around for 18 minutes Sunday night before the inevitable happened: the dominant Boston Celtics, well… dominated.
The C’s took complete control of the game over the final five-plus minutes of the second quarter to open up a 17-point halftime lead that only grew during the second half. Boston finished the second period on an 18-7 run which morphed what was a close game into a laugher.
There were two mainstays throughout the Celtics run: Marcus Smart, and passing.
Smart scored or assisted on 10 of the 18 points. He drilled two 3-pointers, dropped in a turnaround jumper, and assisted on a cutting layup by Marcus Smart.
That assist from Smart was one of four from Boston during the run. The C’s, as they have been doing all season, knifed up Washington’s defense with great ball movement that led to consistent, quality looks at the basket. Four of the seven buckets during the spurt were assisted.
Boston went on to pull ahead by as many as 26 points during the second half, which allowed their starters to get some rest on the first night of a back-to-back. Only Jaylen Brown broke 34 minutes of playing time, while two starters played less than 28, and two others played less than 32.
Jaylen Brown continues to be the yin to Jayson Tatum’s yang.
Brown broke the 25-point barrier for the fourth straight game Friday night by scoring 25 on only 16 shots against the Sacramento Kings. He shot 9-for-16 from the field overall and canned all six of his free throw attempts.
Brown’s performance went well beyond the scoring column. He also added in five rebounds, four assists and two steals while playing only 26-plus minutes of action.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jaylen Brown scored a game-high and season high 36 points
- Boston shot a perfect 26-for-26 from the free-throw line.
- Both teams shot at least 53.7 percent from the field, with Boston canning 55 percent of its shots, and Washington making 53.7 percent of its shots.
- No player on Washington's roster grabbed more than five rebounds.
- Both teams made 44 field goals.
- Boston's bench totaled 46 points, led by 17 from Malcolm Brogdon, 14 from Sam Hauser, and 12 from Luke Kornet.
- Al Horford blocked a game-high three shots while also contributing 14 points.
- Kornet blocked two shots.
- Bradley Beal led Washington with 30 points.
- Boston led by as many as 26 points, while Washington's largest lead was just two points.
Quote of the Night
"Guys, no matter who's out, our guys are always ready to play and ready to step up.’"
- Joe Mazzulla on scoring 130 points on a night during which Jayson Tatum was sidelined