BOSTON – Paul Pierce scored 23 points, and Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 13 assists on Wednesday night before the Boston starters sat out the fourth quarter and watched the bench pull away for a 114-83 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 in 24 minutes, and Ray Allen had 11 points in 26. Except for Shaquille O'Neal, who scored 13 points in 22 minutes, all the starters spent more time on the bench than in any other game this season.
Nick Young scored 20 points for the Wizards, who were without No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall and center Yi Jianlian for the second straight game. The depleted roster helped Boston pull away early and rest their aging starters in its first game back after a four-city road trip.
The Celtics have won three in a row and eight of their last nine.
It was 89-69 at the end of three quarters, and the Celtics' bench led by as many as 37 in the fourth. Delonte West scored 12 points in his first game back from a 10-game suspension, Semih Erden scored nine and Glen "Big Baby" Davis had eight rebounds.
Boston trailed 12-9 before scoring 12 of the game's next 13 points, including three straight inside baskets from O'Neal. Washington cut it to three points in the second quarter against the Boston bench, but the Celtics' starters returned and scored 12 in a row, this time with Garnett putting in three baskets.
Garnett also hit a long 2-pointer in the closing seconds of the half to make it 60-44.
West was suspended 10 games after pleading guilty on weapons charges. He was a free agent after spending last season with Cleveland, but the Celtics inherited the suspension when they signed him. … Wall, averaging 18.1 points and 9.8 assists, is sidelined with a sprained left foot, and the 7-foot Yi has a bruised right knee. They also missed Tuesday night's 109-94 victory over Toronto. … The Wizards had gone five straight games with at least 25 assists, but had only 12 on Wednesday.