The Wizards went down by 18 in the first half but battled all the way back in Boston to get their third straight road win, 106-99 . The win snapped a seven game winning streak the Celtics had going over the Wizards. Washington could not get anything going on either end early with the Celtics opening up an 18 point lead early in the second quarter. The Wizards started chipping though and had cut it to seven at the half and had it tied late in the third quarter. Boston maintained about a 4-8 point margin for most of the way through the fourth until with just under three minutes to play, the most important sequence of the game occurred which gave Washington their first lead. With the game tied at 93, Avery Bradley missed a jumper and Wall led the fast break himself, hitting a pull up jumper. The Celtics then proceeded to feed Sullinger down low but Gortat was having none of it, swatting Sullinger's attempt. Wall then led the fast break again, this time feeding Ariza for one of his five threes as the Wizards grabbed a five point lead which they would never give back. The Wizards closed the game on a 22-7 run.
Washington really struggled in their half court offense for most of the first half, so in the second they started to get out on the run, finishing with 23 fast break points. A lot of those fast breaks were off steals, of which the Wizards had 10, six of which were by Wall. They also limited the Celtics on the glass, particularly in the second half and ended up outrebounding them 47-40. Finally the bench came up huge. Led by Nene and Seraphin with 13 each, the bench outscored the Celtics second unit 36-16.
Trevor Ariza was the man of the hour today, scoring 27 points on 9/18 shooting including 5/8 from beyond the arc and chipping in eight boards. Wall had his fourth straight with at least 20 points, scoring exactly 20 in fact and adding in nine assists and six steals. He also only turned the ball over once. Marcin Gortat had another double-double, finishing with 13 points and 11 boards plus four blocked shots. Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 26 points and Jared Sullinger had 22 points and 11 rebounds. - Jacob Raim
We've made it to TD Garden and are getting close to tip-off. I always enjoy coming back here as I grew up about 20 miles west of this building and came to many games growing up as a kid.
But now to the game... This is an early start and head coach Randy Wittman said that the team would not change too much in terms of preparation. He said they went through a lot of their scouting that they would normally do at morning shootaround yesterday in practice. They got up early today, had a team breakfast and now prepare for the matinee.
The Wizards will use Nene and Bradley Beal the same way as Wednesday, with Beal in the starting lineup getting about 30 minutes and Nene coming off the game and playing about 20-25 minutes.
The Wizards look to win their third straight road game today and then will have five days off before playing again in Minnesota next Friday.
We went over some of the things to look for in the early morning post below and talked about how the Celtics have reshaped their team.
Their new head coach Brad Stevens had a lot of good things to say about the Wizards and had very high praise for John Wall and Bradley Beal.
We now get set for #WizCeltics from the Garden. We'll be live chatting here and look forward to hearing from you.
And as expected, brunch was served in the media room.
It's not often that we get served brunch in the media dining room, but it should be in full swing later today with a 1pm #WizCeltics tip coming up this afternoon.
The Wizards returned home from New York after two wins earlier in the week, held practice at Verizon Center on Friday, and then flew to Boston on Friday afternoon. They will have a team breakfast in the morning and then take the bus over to TD Garden where the Celtics await.
The afternoon game is pretty foreign to this Wizards squad and I'm interested to see if it affects them at all. The players are creatures of habit and going through a different gameday routine will be something to keep an eye on. But, as they say, it's the same for both teams, so no excuses.
The same goes for Jacob Raim and I in the Live Chat. We will be ready to go at 1pm.
As any basketball fans know, these are not the same Celtics that we've seen over the past six years. Rajon Rondo is still out as he recovers from an ACL injury, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are in Brooklyn, and Doc Rivers is coaching in L.A. But, these Celtics still have talent and are built around a lot of good players, rather than any stars. The former Georgetown Hoya Jeff Green is their leading scorer at 16.4 ppg and Jared Sullinger is now their best offensive post player. With Rondo out, a guy many Wizards fans remember, Jordan Crawford, is now running a lot of the point and has been playing very well in that role. He was honored with the Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier this month and has continued to play at a high level. The Wizards will need to be ready for a balanced attack from this Celtics squad tonight.
The Wizards enter today's game looking to win their third straight road game, which would be their first three game road win streak since April of 2012. Even though Glen Rice was just diagnosed with a fractured wrist on Wednesday, they are about as healthy as they've been all season with Bradley Beal and Nene back in the lineup. Both guys will continue to be on minute limits until they are 100%, but expect both to play major roles in today's game in Boston. With six days until the Wizards next game, everyone should be able to give a little bit extra in terms of minutes.
You can read the official Game Preview here.
We will be back with another update before today's game.