August 22, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 42 Recap: Celtics complete season sweep against self-destructing Wiz

Courtesy of Winter Storm Jonas that dumped around two feet of snow across the Greater Metropolitan area, the Washington Wizards were forced to postpone their home game with the Utah Jazz. Unlike their compadre Washington Capitals who had to postpone two games, the Wizards were able to get in their Monday night matchup with the Boston Celtics.

(Photo by: @celtics)

(Photo by: @celtics)

You would not have known that it was Washington that had a four game break and Boston playing the back end of a road back-to-back by the way things turned out. Isaiah Thomas scored a game high 23 points and chipped in with nine assists in just 28 minutes of play while the Wizards self-destructed with 20 turnovers. Washington was swept in the season series as they suffered yet another blowout loss to the 17 time-world champion Celtics 116-91.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 39 Recap: Wiz cannot get the Celtics monkey off their back as they fall in a heart breaker

(Photo by: @Wizards)

(Photo by: @Wizards)

So far the Washington Wizards have not had pleasant experiences at TD Garden arena at the hands of the Boston Celtics. Both matchups have resulted in Washington digging themselves an early hole on their way to 20 and 33 point losses. To start a five game home stand, the Wizards continued to force turnovers to start the game then it was simply John Wall takeover time as the point guard went off for a season-high 36 points. Unfortunately that was not enough for Washington as Isiah Thomas and Jae Crowder combined for 54 points. In a chaotic final minute, the Wizards fell 119-117 to see their four-game winning streak snapped.

Boston was on fire to start the game by shooting five of six from the field including three makes from beyond the arc. Washington would respond with a 17-4 run by scoring on 12 of 15 possessions. Much to their recent track record, the Wizards forced their opponent into early turnover problems and converted in transition. Boston had seven first quarter turnovers that Washington cashed in for 10 points. Unlike early in the year where they trailed 40-25 and 28-19 after one quarter, the Wizards held a 31-24 advantage after twelve minutes of play.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 6 Review: Wizards Get Off to Rough Start, Struggle Mightily vs. Boston

The Washington Wizards went up to Boston to play the 1-3 Boston Celtics and absolutely laid an egg, losing 118-98. From the outset, it was clear that the Wizards did not bring their A game, or their B, C, or D game, either. The Wizards were out-shot, out-coached, out-hustled, and out-manned by the Boston Celtics, and it was clear that was the case by the end of a 40-24 first quarter.

The Celtics opened up the second quarter even hotter, and finished the half shooting 61 percent on their way to a 72-49 lead. Isaiah Thomas, Jared Sullinger, and Evan turner combined for 43 points in the first half, and if not for a 14-0 run in the middle of the second quarter for the Wizards, the lead would have been even worse.  The 72-point output by Boston was the most the Wizards had given up in a long, long time. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 29 Review: Wizards Dominate Celtics in Series Finale

FORMER CELTICS LEAD WIZARDS PAST BOSTON

To continue their hot start at home, the Washington Wizards defeated the Boston Celtics — in rematch of an overtime thriller — 101-88 inside the Verizon Center on Saturday night.

Right from the get-go, the Wizards had control.  [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 82 Recap: Wizards Rout Celtics to Clinch No. 5 Seed in East

Photo tweeted by @DrewGooden with the caption "Headed back DC! Let's get it!!"

Photo tweeted by @DrewGooden with the caption “Headed back DC! Let’s get it!!”

Bradley Beal scored 27 points and all five of the Washington Wizards’ starters reached double-digit scoring as the Wiz Kids topped the Boston Celtics 118-102 at TD Garden Wednesday night.

With the win, the Wizards finish the regular season six games above .500 and secure the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 seed. Washington will take on the Chicago Bulls in their first playoff appearance since 2008.

At the end of the first quarter, it was clear Washington was going to run with the lead. John Wall tallied 13 of the Wizards’ 38 points in the first 12 minutes of play, and the team played like a cohesive unit counting down the days to the postseason.

The Celtics nearly matched the Wizards’ efforts in the second quarter as Chris Johnson and Jeff Green helped the team to a quick 11-3 run. With roughly six minutes left in the half, Nene and Beal hit a three each to keep the Celtics at bay and Washington took advantage of free baskets to end the half up 68-56.

The third proved a slower quarter for both teams. Washington went nearly two and a half minutes before sinking a basket and, in that time frame, Boston pulled within four points.

But, at last, it was the Wizards’ night to celebrate the end of the regular season, knowing there is still basketball left to be played.

In the final five minutes of play, Washington went on an offensive drive, shutting down the Celtics to regain a 16-point lead to end of the quarter.

Beal had a field day in the fourth, posting 12 points to help the Wizards write off the season with a 118-102 win.

The Wizards will first face the No. 4 Chicago Bulls (44-34) on the road on Easter Sunday, April 20, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Game two will take place in Chicago on Tuesday, April 22 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

And, the Washington Wizards will return home Friday, April 28, to take on the Bulls in an ESPN primetime game at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Game four is slated for Sunday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m.

If necessary, game five will take place in Chicago on Tuesday, April 29; game six will take place in Washington on Thursday, May 1, and Game seven will send the two teams back to Chicago for a sudden-death matchup on Saturday, May 3.

Washington Wizards Game 75 Recap: Wiz Dominate Celtics to Secure Playoff Berth

Photo courtesy of Monumental Sports

Photo courtesy of Monumental Sports

For the first time since 2008, the Washington Wizards are playoff-bound.

Long before time ran out on the Wizards’ 118-92 win over the Boston Celtics Wednesday night, the truth set in: Washington will be treated to extra basketball this spring, and Wall will, at long last, make his postseason debut.

“It’s great, it’s everything I’ve been waiting for as a point guard and trying to learn how to lead in this league and become a better player but also I think the fans deserve it,” Wall said. “The tough time they went through of them booing us and us feeling bad when we’re not playing good or playing the right way and having the right people around the organization. Those guys in the front office and the coaching staff are doing a great job of building us as players and trusting in their system and going out there and playing as a group and one whole team… It means a lot.”

Wall posted 13 points and 10 assists in Wednesday’s contest as the Wizards worked their way to a 62.5 field goal percentage – their highest in a game since 2001.

And, though the road to the top of the Eastern Conference was paved nicely for Washington this season, for many in the District who have stuck through the Wiz Kids’ past few seasons, the reality of a playoff berth takes some getting used to.

“I’m just as thrilled too,” said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. “This is an opportunity for me as a head coach, this is my first time and I’m looking forward to it. But we have seven games. We kept saying, let’s get ourselves in… [I say all the time that] I’m worried about how we’re playing and the process we’re going about, more than getting a win here and there, and wins and losses take care of themselves. [Wednesday’s win] is a perfect example of that. This is the most we have swung that ball side to side for 48 minutes in a long time and it gets you 29 assists. We have to play that way. We got stagnant in Charlotte the other night in the third quarter where the ball never moved.

“You’re going to have lapses,” he continued. “There are good lapses and bad lapses. You miss open shots, you miss a couple of free throws here and there, and the other team goes on a run. I didn’t think we had a bad lapse today where one guy came down nine times and dribbled the ball and took a shot. Or we threw one pass and took a shot, unless it was a wide open shot. I know these guys were itching for this, and I know they peeked in the video room at half time to check on the New York score and they were up 35. I told them we have to go out and do it ourselves.”

And so, they did.

Marvin Gortat led Washington’s scoring effort with 22 points, but all five of the Wizards’ starters reached double-digit points before day’s end.

“I think we just played the right way,” Gortat said. “I just think we played the right way, we were swinging the ball perfectly. We had an in-and-out game. We ran different stuff and each one of us contributed to that win. It was a great night.”

From the opposite side of the court, Jared Sullinger did his best to prevent the Celtics from dropping their sixth straight game, adding 25 points to their total. But, Boston failed to ever take the lead and posted dismal numbers across the board.

In fact, less than five minutes into the game, the Celtics trailed by 15 points. Their late turnovers proved costly and, on the whole, their three-point strategy just did not work – they shot 3 for 24 from behind the arc. In fact, they struggled to find the net from all areas of the court, as they shot just 39.5 percent from the field on the night.

And still, several of the Celtics paused to recognize the fact that the night marked a moment Wall has long awaited.

“I wish him well,” Celtics guard Rajon Rondo said after the game. “It’ll be fun, exciting. Every game is on T.V. Guys love to play on T.V., I know I do. It’ll be fun. I’m sure he’s been waiting for this opportunity, I think he’s been like four or five years. For such a young guy to have so much pressure on him, having a franchise on his back, and he’s finally able to get to the playoffs, I’m sure it’s kind of like a burden lifted off of him. I’m sure he doesn’t want to settle there. I’m sure he wants to win, but you just have to take it one series at a time.”

Yet, as the Wizards may look to cruise through the remaining regular-season matchups, perhaps none can breathe quite the same sigh of relief as Wittman himself who, in little more than two years with the Wizards, assumed responsibility of fulfilling the do-or-die mantra.

“I think we stuck together,” he said. “It’s a great group of guys that the front office put together and we stuck together. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, a lot of injuries here and there, but ever since the last couple of years we built it. Now we have the pieces together and now we’re in the playoffs.”

Washington Wizards Game 41 Recap: Wiz fall short against short-staffed Celtics

For the fifth time this season, the Washington Wizards attempted to go above .500 and fell short, this time by way of a 113-111 loss to the Boston Celtics Wednesday night at the Verizon Center.

John Wall recorded his second career triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, but his achievements were soured by a missed potential game-winner at the buzzer in overtime.

The Wizards haven’t seen the view from above .500 since October 2009. This season alone they came as close as 0-0, 9-9, 14-14, 19-19 and 20-20.

Their latest attempt proved a valiant effort, if only in the second half.

Without Rajon Rando, Jerryd Bayless and Avery Bradley, the Celtics entered the game as if ready to record their 11th straight road loss. Instead, however, the Celtics’ Jeff Green had a stellar night as he posted 39 points, nine rebounds, three steals, a block and an assist.

Boston carried a 10-point lead into the second quarter, thanks in part to Green’s early 10 points. The margin only widened and, after Green went back-to-back with a finger roll layup and a jumper, Boston took a 19-point lead with less than four minutes left in the half.

The Celtics handed the Wizards some free baskets and yet Washington could only narrow the deficit to 18 points into halftime.

“First half we came out as individuals, no one would pass the ball to one another,” Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said after the game. “We dribbled the ball all over the place and then when we did pass it, it was to a guy with two seconds on the shot clock behind the three-point line. ‘I was going to get mine tonight. I was going to get mine.’ First half. We’re not good enough for that.” [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 77 Wrap: Bass, Celtics prove too much for Wizards to handle

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce returned to the Boston Celtics (40-37) just in time to shut down the Washington Wizards (29-48) Sunday night at TD Garden by the score of 107-96.

Brandon Bass led the Celtics’ efforts with 20 points, but Pierce and Garnett added 15 and 12 points respectively in their returns to the lineup. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 3: Wiz force OT but fall to Celts 100-94

The Washington Wizards had five players with 14 points or more, including backups Kevin Seraphin, Chris Singleton and Martell Webster and forced overtime against the homestanding Boston Celtics before running out of gas in the extra frame — outscored  12-6 — to fall to 0-3 for the season after a 100-94 loss to the Celtics before 18,624 at TD Garden in Boston.

The Celtics (2-2) were paced by 20 points from Kevin Garnett, while Rajon Rondo added 18 and Paul Pierce chipped in with 15 points.

The Wizards, who have been badly outrebounded thus far this season, matched Boston on the boards as each team pulled down 44 total rebounds. The Wizards were led by Serpahin, with nine boards.

A.J. Price found Seraphin alone in the lane to tie the game at 80 with 3:35 remaining in the fourth quarter to complete a 13-5 run late to make a game of it. Rondo hit a jumper from the top of the key with 26.4 saeconds left in the game to move the Celtics ahead by two points. But Singleton drove the lane and slammed it down with two hands with just 9.4 left on the clock to push the game into extra time.

But Brandon Bass scored five of his 11 points in the extra frame for Boston to secure the victory on their home court. The Wizards shot just 3-for-10 in overtime.

“It’s a learning process, taking care of the ball, execution, making plays down the stretch,” said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman after the game. “It’s disappointing because we lost, but we did a lot of good things.”

Wizards rookie Bradley Beal had his best game as a pro, scoring 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting overall (3-of-8 from 3PT) with three assists and four rebounds, all career highs thus far. He, along with Price, Serpahin, Webster and Singleton led the Wizards in playing time as well, as the veteran triumvirate of Emeka Ofafor, Trevor Ariza and Trevor Booker all played less than 20 minutes and combined for 10 points and eight rebounds.

Ariza, in particular, is struggling adjusting to his new surroundings. One of Washington’s offseason trade acquisitions has stumbled out of the gate in his team’s opening two contests and performed no better Wednesday night. The former Hornet hit just 1-for-6 to finish with two points and is shooting just over 22 percent from the field over his first three games.

Next up for the Wizards is a date with the Milwaukee Bucks at Verizon Center Friday night at 7:00 pm.

***Quotes used in this report were taken from the Game Notes on NBA.com.

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 2: Wiz Comeback Falls Short in 89-86 Loss to Boston Celtics

Washington fans didn’t get the storybook ending they wanted for the home opener, as the Boston Celtics jumped out to a lead early in the first quarter and were able to hold off a late Washington Wizards rally to win 89-86.

The first quarter could not have started any worse for the Wizards, as the Celtics grabbed a commanding 17-2 lead. Washington struggled to find open shots and their only two points came from a goaltending call on the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett. Meanwhile, Boston was able to bottle up the shooting lanes on defense and got the space needed to set up their offense.

“Another start to a game, obviously, that got us deep in a hole that again we fought, played, scratched to the end to try pull this thing out and just couldn’t,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said after the game. “We just got blitzed again at the start of the game and before you know it we were 16 down.”

It took more than ten-minutes for the Wizards to finally drop one in the basket on a Tervor Booker drive to the lane. His rush and finger roll up the middle resulted in a foul and after knocking down the free throw, cut the deficit to 17-5 to gave Washington’s offense a little bit of life.

With the big three of Trevor Ariza, Bradley Beal and Emeka Okafor playing like absolute non-factors, it was up to the bench to get the Wizards back into the game. Jordan Crawford and Kevin Seraphin were able to shrink the Boston lead to as few as five points in the second quarter. The pair combined for 20 points, three rebounds and three-assists in the first half. Another major contributor on the offense, and the only starter to really leave a mark on the first, was Booker who netted nine-points with three-rebounds.

Boston maintained much of its flow for most of the first two quarters. Paul Pierce was given as much space as he seemed to want, taking 11 shots, including three three-pointers. Guard Rajon Rondo was the real engine behind the Boston machine though, going 3-4 from the floor with two threes and six assists.

Coming out in the third, the Wizards went away from the game plan that helped them get back into the game in the second, driving the lane. As a whole, the team opted for deep jumpers and threes instead of trying to drive the lane.

Boston was content to let the Wizards continue their poor shoot-selection and stagnant defense for most of the quarter and extended the lead to 65-52 after Rondo caused a turnover and drove the basket for a reverse layup. Washington took a timeout and came out of it still shooting the jumper, but at least worked it to Seraphin and Crawford who continued to stay red-hot for the red, white and blue.

In the closing moments of the third, Washington closed within two-points of the Boston lead after a pretty play from Seraphin and a Crawford two made it a 69-67 game. Crawford kept the Wizards in the game, but did have the opportunity to let them win it, as a hard foul by Jeff Green sent Crawford to the line and then to the locker room with a sprained ankle and returned later after it was taped up.

Jannero Pargo stepped up in Crawford’s absence, hitting two key jumpers to keep the Wizards within six of the lead with just over six-minutes to go. Just as it looked like the Celtics were going to start to pull away, Cartier Martin decided to get involved with a big three followed up by a steal and score to cut the lead to three. Pargo made it a whole new ballgame after a three from the top of the key made it 84-84 with a little over three minutes to play. After taking a brief two-point lead, the Celtics followed up with a three-pointer of their own to regain the lead.

The Verizon Center exploded when it thought the Wizards had taken a one point lead, but a foul by Rondo negated the points and reset the possession, which the Wizards promptly threw away out of bounds with thirty seconds left. Garnett followed up with a fade away two that rimmed out giving the Wizards the ball with 4.5-seconds left down 87-86. Martell Webster grabbed the inbounds pass and took a contested three that ended up short, ending the Wizards’ hope for a comeback.

“I thought I had a good look, thought there was a little bit of contact but that is just a shot I know I am very capable of making,” Webster said after the game. “I wish I could relive it to tell you the truth, to be a little bit stronger, a little more aggressive with it.”

With the loss, the Wizards drop to 0-2 on the year, heading into a rematch with the Celtics on Wednesday in Boston.

%d bloggers like this: