Celtics-Wizards Live: C’s Weather Storm, Hold Off Wizards In 101-93 Win

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 201412:38pm

12:30 p.m. ET: A Celtics legend will be back in Boston on Sunday.

That’d be Kris Humphries, of course. Who did you think we were talking about?

We kid. 

Humphries will be making his return to TD Garden after signing with the Washington Wizards this past offseason, but all eyes will be the man lining up next to him in the Wizards’ frontcourt — Paul Pierce. 

Pierce, whose 15-year tenure in Boston ended after the 2012-13 season, said he doesn’t expect Sunday to be quite as emotional as when he faced the Celtics for the first time last season, but that it’ll be a surreal experience nonetheless. 

“It’s probably always going to be weird, just coming up in this arena,” Pierce said in his pregame meeting with reporters. “Even just landing in the airport, driving through the city. Taking a left instead of a right into the locker room. It’s always going to be weird coming up in here.”

After a somewhat disappointing season in Brooklyn, Pierce now is part of a Wizards team that has a legitimate shot at winning the Eastern Conference this season. Washington sits atop the Southeast Division with a record of 13-5 and comes in riding a four-game winning streak.

The key for the Celtics will be containing John Wall and Bradley Beal, who together form one of the NBA’s best young backcourts. Avery Bradley will draw the unenviable task of guarding Wall, who leads the Wizards in points (17.6 per game), rebounds (9.8) and steals (2.1) this season. 

Here’s what the starting lineups should look like for both teams:

Celtics
Rajon Rondo
Avery Bradley
Jeff Green
Jared Sullinger
Tyler Zeller

Wizards
John Wall
Bradley Beal
Paul Pierce
Kris Humpries
Marcin Gortat

Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Follow along with all the action right here, and follow NESN.com Celtics beat writer Zack Cox on Twitter for instant updates and analysis.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@NBA

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20141:11pm

First quarter 11:59, 0-0: Game time. Marcin Gortat wins the opening tip for Washington, and we are underway. 

On an aesthetics note, the Celtics are wearing the gray, sleeved alternate uniforms they debuted last month against Chicago. They don’t look any better this time around. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20141:20pm

First quarter 7:20, Celtics 12-4: All Wizards not named Paul Pierce are having a tough time putting the ball in the net in the early going. Pierce is 2-for-3 with four points. His teammates are a combined 0-for-5. 

The Celtics, meanwhile, are spreading the love. Four of their five starters have at least one field goal. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20141:29pm

First quarter 2:44, Celtics 16-9: Marcus Smart has checked in for the first time today. The rookie didn’t play at all Friday against the Lakers and logged just five minutes against the Pistons two days earlier. 

Rajon Rondo leads all scorers with six points thus far, and Tyler Zeller and ex-Celtic Kris Humphries each have five rebounds. Zeller hasn’t been as automatic as he normally is with the ball in his hands, however, missing each of his first two shots.  

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20141:35pm

End first quarter, Celtics 24-15: The Wizards might was to want to invest in a Box O’ Joe between quarters. The first frame was a sloppy one for Washington, which went just 5 of 20 from the floor and turned the ball over nine times. 

Over on the Celtics’ side, Jeff Green has eight points and three steals in 11 minutes. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20141:44pm

Second quarter 8:57, Celtics 28-17: We haven’t seen much in the way of offense here in the second, as the teams have combined to hit just one field goal through the first three minutes. Turnovers continue to be an issue for the Wizards, who coughed the ball up on each of their last two possessions. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20141:58pm

Second quarter 4:02, Celtics 41-28: Marcus Thornton has come on strong for the Celtics, chipping in a game-high 11 points in just eight minutes off the bench. Thornton’s contributions help the Celtics’ lead swell to 19 points before a Paul Pierce jumper and a Bradley Beal three trimmed that advantage down a bit. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20142:09pm

Halftime, Celtics 53-36: The Wizards are shooting a cool 31 percent from the floor despite the fact that Paul Pierce actually is putting together a pretty good game. Pierce is 4-for-7 with 10 points. The rest of his team is 9-for-35. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20142:24pm

Third quarter 11:59, Celtics 53-36: Rajon Rondo brings the ball up the court to get things started here in the second half. As the Celtics have proven time and again this season, this one is far from over. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20142:38pm

Third quarter 7:05, Celtics 63-41: The Wizards’ trend of poor shooting has continued into the second half. They went without a bucket for the first 2:50 of the frame, allowing the Celtics to steadily pad their lead. John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington’s top two scorers coming in, are a combined 4-for-19 today. Not good. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20142:46pm

Third quarter 2:40, Celtics 72-50: Marcus Smart checks back into the game for the first time since the first quarter and scores his first points in exactly a month. 

Quietly having a solid afternoon is Kris Humphries, who’s pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds in 23 minutes.

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20142:56pm

End third quarter, Celtics 77-59: The Wizards still have yet to wake up. They managed just 18 points in the third quarter, and that’s how much they trail by entering entering the final 12 minutes. 

Paul Pierce (four fouls) played just three minutes in the third but still is tied for the team lead with 10 points. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20143:00pm

Fourth quarter 9:40, Celtics 80-73: Washington finally found an alarm clock, and his name is Rasual Butler. Butler now has 17 points on the afternoon and is 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. 

A straightaway three by Paul Pierce cuts the Celtics’ lead to single digits for the first time since early in the second quarter.

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20143:05pm

Fourth quarter 7:21, Celtics 90-78: That’s the fire the Celtics need to play with to close out these kind of games. After another Pierce three cut Boston’s lead to six, the Celtics got treys from Jared Sullinger and Marcus Thornton to give themselves some breathing room. Thornton now has 21 points, and Rajon Rondo (16 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) has reached triple-double territory for the 31st time in his career. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20143:15pm

Fourth quarter 2:25, Celtics 92-91: A note to the Celtics: If you want to win this game, you might want to stop leaving Rasual Butler wide open in the corner. 

Butler just buried his sixth 3-pointer of the game, and the 18-point lead Boston entered this quarter with now is down to just one. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20143:25pm

Fourth quarter 0:37.0, Celtics 97-93: Paul Pierce misfires on a 3-pointer that would have given the Wizards their first lead of the night, and Avery Bradley makes him play by nailing a triple of his own at the other end. C’s by four with 37 seconds to play. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20143:28pm

Fourth quarter 0:22.2, Celtics 99-93: Rajon Rondo picks off a John Wall pass, and Jeff Green finishes the ensuing fast break to give Boston a six-point lead. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20143:31pm

Final, Celtics 101-93: What was a blowout for much of the night turned into a nailbiter in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics were able to hold off Paul Pierce and the Wizards to earn their third straight win. Jeff Green led the C’s with 25 points, and Rajon Rondo notched a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. 

These teams will be back at it again Monday night in Washington. 

Zack Cox Sun, Dec 7, 20144:52pm

12:30 p.m. ET: A Celtics legend will be back in Boston on Sunday.

That’d be Kris Humphries, of course. Who did you think we were talking about?

We kid. 

Humphries will be making his return to TD Garden after signing with the Washington Wizards this past offseason, but all eyes will be the man lining up next to him in the Wizards’ frontcourt — Paul Pierce. 

Pierce, whose 15-year tenure in Boston ended after the 2012-13 season, said he doesn’t expect Sunday to be quite as emotional as when he faced the Celtics for the first time last season, but that it’ll be a surreal experience nonetheless. 

“It’s probably always going to be weird, just coming up in this arena,” Pierce said in his pregame meeting with reporters. “Even just landing in the airport, driving through the city. Taking a left instead of a right into the locker room. It’s always going to be weird coming up in here.”

After a somewhat disappointing season in Brooklyn, Pierce now is part of a Wizards team that has a legitimate shot at winning the Eastern Conference this season. Washington sits atop the Southeast Division with a record of 13-5 and comes in riding a four-game winning streak.

The key for the Celtics will be containing John Wall and Bradley Beal, who together form one of the NBA’s best young backcourts. Avery Bradley will draw the unenviable task of guarding Wall, who leads the Wizards in points (17.6 per game), rebounds (9.8) and steals (2.1) this season. 

Here’s what the starting lineups should look like for both teams:

Celtics
Rajon Rondo
Avery Bradley
Jeff Green
Jared Sullinger
Tyler Zeller

Wizards
John Wall
Bradley Beal
Paul Pierce
Kris Humpries
Marcin Gortat

Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Follow along with all the action right here, and follow NESN.com Celtics beat writer Zack Cox on Twitter for instant updates and analysis.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@NBA

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