With playoff implications on the line, the Wizards were out-rebounded badly by the Celtics and did not take care of the ball well in a tough game in Boston on Monday night. Bradley Beal scored 19 points and John Wall added 16 points and eight assists in the loss. Washington's bench scored 41 points and led a mini-comeback in the fourth quarter, but it would not be enough. Some notes from the 110-102 loss...
Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding
The Celtics, the NBA's 27th best rebounding team entering Monday, out-rebounded the Wizards 54-39 and controlled the rim from the get-go. At one point, the Celtics had 32 rebounds to to the Wizards' 13 late in the second quarter. With 20 offensive rebounds, the Celtics set their season-high on the offensive glass, resulting in 22 second chance points. Jae Crowder, Al Horford, Avery Bradley, and Kelly Olynyk all had nine or more rebounds, as the Wizards could not box the Celtics out all night and paid for it.
Bench players provide scoring, late spark
Bojan Bogdanovic (14 points), Jason Smith (13 points), and Brandon Jennings (10 points) all scored in double figures to go along with Kelly Oubre Jr.'s four points, combining for 41 bench points. Smith, who fouled out in just 17 minutes, still provided a major offensive spark with his shooting, making three of the Wizards' eight 3-pointers and of course supplying energy. Bogdanovic struggled from beyond the arc, but got to the rim and drew fouls. Jennings would also add seven assists in his 15 minutes on the floor, continuing to produce offensively. Oubre played excellent defense down the stretch, helping the Wizards get within six points late in the fourth quarter.
Wizards struggle with ball control, Celtics' tough defense
It's tough to win basketball games without controlling the ball and the glass, and the Wizards did neither in their loss on Monday against the Celtics. Forcing 18 turnovers, the Celtics were able to score 24 points off the Wizards' miscues. Washington struggled to work their offense, resulting in a lot of isolation, tough two-point jumpshots, and way too many missed 3-point looks. The Wizards took a season-high 35 3-pointers, but only made eight of them, shooting a lowly 22.9% from beyond the arc. Still, despite their struggles from deep, the Wizards out-shot the Celtics 43.0% to 42.6%, yet were trailing by double digits more than half of the game. Credit Boston's defense with their 10 steals and six blocks, but the Wizards were not careful enough with the ball.
Playoff implications moving forward
The loss puts the Wizards 2.5 games behind the Celtics for the No. 2 spot in the East with only 12 games on the Wizards' schedule. With the win and more conference wins, the Celtics have the tiebreaker over the Wizards for that second spot. Washington is one game up on Toronto for the No. 3 seed. The Raptors own the tiebreaker with the Wizards as well.
Wednesday, 3/22 vs. Hawks (7:00pm)
Wizards – Chris McCullough, Daniel Ochefu
Celtics – Demetrius Jackson, Jordan Mickey
Shooting %: 43.0% (37/86)
3-point %: 22.9% (8/35)
FT %: 76.9% (20/26)
Rebounds: 39 (8 OREB)
Shooting %: 42.6% (40/94)
3-point %: 30.3% (10/33)
FT %: 71.4% (20/28)
Rebounds: 54 (20 OREB)