The short-handed Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, letting the final score do most of their talking. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of trash talk between tip-off and the final buzzer, though.
The C’s 117-108 win was capped by a little skirmish after the game, a dust-up that started with some aggressive finger pointing between Boston forward Jae Crowder and Washington guard John Wall. That incident apparently was a long time coming, as the entire game was a chippy affair.
Wizards forward Otto Porter even threw around the “dirty” word when talking about the Celtics after the game.
“We’ve had some past history the last couple of years with those guys,” Porter told reporters after the game, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “They’re a physical team. They try to play dirty. They try to take you out your game. Their whole team. That’s just how they try to play.”
Wizards guard Bradley Beal went out of his way to say the Celtics weren’t dirty, but he did label the game “chippy,” which is perhaps a rung or two down from “dirty.”
“It’s always chippy with them,” he said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “It’s a physical team. Neither one of us likes to be punked. It’s just a physical game. That’s all it was. It’s not my first time being tangled up with (Celtics guard Marcus Smart). He’s a tough competitor. I don’t think it was a dirty game. There were no crazy fouls or anything like that away from the ball. It was clean. Just a lot of smack talking, trash-talking.”
It’s certainly true that Wednesday’s chippiness was nothing new for these teams. The Wizards steam-rolled the Celtics earlier this season, a frustrating game for Boston, and it was a game that saw Wall and Smart get tangled up midway through the fourth quarter.
Did the Celtics increase their level of physicality Wednesday night in order to frustrate the Wizards? Perhaps. Porter, who scored a career-high 38 points in the two teams’ first meeting this season, scored 20, while the Celtics held Wall to nine points on just 4-of-21 shooting Wednesday.
The Celtics and Wizards will play again this month on Jan. 24 in D.C., a game that’s turning into a must-see event.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images