The Celtics got up big in the first quarter and never looked back as they cruised to a convincing win over the Washington Wizards. Wait, what? The Celtics lost to the Wizards whose newly signed back up guard from the D-League helped topple one of the elite teams in the league? Well Suzyn, in life all good things come to an end.
The Celtics went into Washington looking to extend their five game winning streak and left with a good dose of reality losing to the Wizards 85-83. Star power and reputation and not enough to win in this league. You need to do the little things to win and the Celtics just didn’t. Ray Allen missed an easy dunk, Glen Davis missed shots and Paul Pierce got into foul trouble. The ball is going to bounce every different way over the course of a season and it just didn’t bounce right for the Celtics on Saturday night.
John Wall got into early foul trouble but roared back in the second half hitting a three pointer, only one of the game for the Wizards, with 58 seconds left in the game. Mustafa Shakur, who was signed to a 10-day contract hours before the game, chipped in 5 points, but more importantly helped Washington overcome the loss of John Wall as he was forced to sit in the first half after picking up his second foul. Wall scored 16 points, whilst adding 6 rebounds and 4 assists to pace his club. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 17 points, Rondo added 9 assists and Semih Erden led the way on the glass with 11 boards.
Paul Pierce missed what would have been a game winning shot thus summing up the night for the C’s quite well. The Celtics opened the game with a 16 point lead in the first quarter on 68% shooting and went on to shoot 33% for the remainder of the game and posted their lowest output of the season in the fourth (11 points) on 5-23 shooting from the floor.
The Wizards just flat out wanted it more. Said John Wall: “We just came out with more energy, Everybody in the locker room was talking about it. We got out there and went through the layup lines really hard and got a sweat and that’s what we need to do. Most of the time we go out there for the third quarter, everybody’s just walking around lackadaisical like it don’t mean nothing. That’s when the game is won, in the third quarter.”
On a positive note, Semih Erden contributed with 11 boards helping the Celtics in the short term as Shaq sits with an injured hip.
Plain and simple, nights like this are going to happen. The Celtics trail only San Antonio for the best record in the NBA and are 7-3 over their last 10 games and Celtics fans need to remember this.
The Celtics make a quick stop back home for a game against the Cavs on Tuesday before heading out to the west coast for games against the Blazers, Lakers, Kings and Suns.