Perhaps the Boston Celtics stayed up late watching Tuesday night’s presidential election results.
That’s the only explanation we can think of for another brutal early showing by the C’s, who fell into a massive early deficit Wednesday against the Washington Wizards and couldn’t recover in a 118-93 loss at Verizon Center.
Isaiah Thomas (23 points and 10 assists), Avery Bradley (21 points) and Marcus Smart (20 points) led the way for the Celtics, while Washington’s Otto Porter Jr. went off for a career-high 34 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
Here’s how this one went down.
Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller
Remember that abysmal first quarter the Celtics had Sunday against the Denver Nuggets? They somehow started even worse Wednesday.
Boston couldn’t stop a nosebleed on defense and played atrocious offense, digging itself a 34-8 hole after 12 minutes. Porter did his best Emmanuel Mudiay impression with 15 points and three 3-pointers in the frame, as Washington started 6-for-7 from beyond the arc.
The Celtics, meanwhile, shot just 18 percent from the floor (4-for-22) and went 0-for-8 from 3-point range while getting out-rebounded 18-7 and committing four turnovers. Their 26-point deficit after the first quarter was their largest in franchise history.
Boston’s second quarter was an entirely different story — offensively, at least.
The C’s dropped 35 points in the frame, getting scoring contributions from Thomas and Bradley to whittle Washington’s lead to 15 points by halftime.
But Brad Stevens’ club still struggled on the other end, allowing the Wizards to rack up 12 offensive rebounds by halftime. Porter continued his strong performance on the offensive end as Washington put up 58 points in the first half.
Smart went into takeover mode in the third quarter, scoring 18 of Boston’s 26 points in the frame. The 22-year-old found his stroke from deep, hitting four 3-pointers in a 12-minute span.
But even Smart’s efforts couldn’t bring the Celtics any closer, as the Wizards closed the quarter on a 6-1 run to take a 20-point lead into the fourth.
John Wall got himself ejected midway through the fourth quarter after getting in an unnecessary tussle with Smart.
The Wizards guard threw Smart to the ground as he dribbled up the floor, earning a flagrant two and an ejection with his team leading by 20 points.
Kelly Olynyk didn’t exactly light it up in his season debut, scoring two points on 1-for-6 shooting in his first game since last April. Olynyk went 0-for-3 from 3-point range but did manage to grab six rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
PLAY OF THE NIGHT
There weren’t many highlights on Boston’s end, but this Smart slam in the second quarter was pretty impressive:
The Celtics will look to bounce back at home Friday night against the Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks. Tip-off at TD Garden is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images