A first quarter lead quickly evaporated, and although the Celtics kept things close for most of the game, they couldn’t overcome the Washington Wizards, falling 116-107 Wednesday night at TD Garden.
After the Celtics got out to a 12-6 lead, Washington took a timeout. They came out of that break with a 10-4 run, tying the game. The Wizards kept rolling with that momentum, and had a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Washington started the second quarter with seven unanswered points, but the Celtics then rolled off seven straight of their own in response. Neither team had any trouble scoring in the second quarter, which the Wizards ‘won’ 38-33 to hold a 62-52 lead at halftime.
Boston opened the third quarter with a much-needed 8-0 run. The Wizards quickly found their footing and got up by as many as 15 points, but the Celtics didn’t go away. A 14-1 run late in the quarter closed the gap again, and the Celtics trailed by just a point, 87-86, heading into the final 12 minutes.
It looked like free throws from Dennis Schröder to start the fourth quarter tied the game and then gave the Celtics the lead, but in reality the scoreboard was incorrect and they trailed by one. They spent the final quarter going on a number of smaller runs to get within three or four points, but never passed the Wizards again.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points, to go along with seven rebounds. Dennis Schroder followed up his 23-point performance last time out with 22 in this game off the bench – he also had six assists. Al Horford (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Robert Williams (13 points, 11 rebounds) each had a double-double, with Williams also totaling four blocks.
For Washington, Montrezl Harrell scored a game-high 25 points on a very efficient 10-of-13 shooting night. Spencer Dinwiddie added 22 points, and Bradley Beal had 17.
Wednesday’s game was the first half of what is a home-and-home series for the Celtics, with the Wizards playing Atlanta in between. These two teams get back at it Saturday in D.C. with a 5 p.m. tip-off. Pregame coverage begins at 4:30 on 105.7 WROR and the Celtics Radio Network.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.