November 20, 2019

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.

The Celtics went on a 11-4 run behind Marcus Smart’s eight points midway through the second quarter to pull within two points. Washington was able to supplement their cold shooting from beyond the arc, 3 of 12 in the half, with aggressive attacking the basket and forcing the whistle happy referees to make a call: 16 of 19 from the free throw line in the half. Following a 9-1 run that gave the Wizards a ten point lead, Boston responded with a quick 10-3 run in less than two minutes. Nonetheless Washington held a 61-54 advantage at halftime as both teams went for 30 in the quarter.

After Jared Dudley hit a triple to open up the second half scoring, Boston went on a 14-0 run thanks to the three point shooting of Isiah Thomas (5 of 7). Wall responded by fueling a Wizards’ 7-0 run with a reverse layup, floater in the lane, and assist to Kelly Oubre Jr. on triple after a steal. That same run would be extended to 15-4 thanks to post presence from Marcin Gortat and Nene. After a questionable charge call against Wall and poor defense by Nene to foul the three point shooter, the Celtics closed the quarter on a 7-2 run to shorten Washington’s advantage to 86-83.

Randy Wittman‘s club was a mess to start the fourth with four turnovers and giving up four offensive rebounds to the Celtics in the first three minutes. The pace was fast and furious as both teams were scoring at will answering buckets by one another. After the Wizards held a 101-95 lead with 6:22 remaining, the Celtics went on a 16-5 run to regain the lead with under two minutes to play. Washington cut the Celtics lead to one with under a minute to go but Avery Bradley hit a huge three with thirty seconds to play off of Boston’s 17th offensive rebound.

Washington extended the game with fouling and were bailed out by Amir Johnson fouling Wall on a 3-point attempt and Jae Crowder talking too much trash to earn a technical. Following Amir Johnson missing a free throw, in which Kelly Oubre brilliantly fouled the 53 percent free throw shooter, Garrett Temple tied the game at 117 with 13 seconds to play. Brad Stevens expertly ran an out of timeout play to get Crowder an easy layup with 4 seconds to play and Wall was just a tad too hard on the layup attempt after racing down the length of the court. Washington fell 119-117 to snap their four-game winning streak.

The Wizards will host the Portland Trail Blazers (18-25) on Martin Luther King Jr. Monday at 2 pm from DC. The Trail Blazers were riding a three-game win streak before losing to the Philadelphia Sixers as they continue their three-game East coast road trip against Washington.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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