Coming off a beatdown at the hands of the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, the Boston Celtics were in need of a redemption performance against yet another top Eastern Conference squad.
That mission was accomplished — narrowly — as the Celtics beat the Washington Wizards on Thursday 110-104 in overtime at Capital One Arena.
Kyrie Irving scored 28 for the Celtics and was one of six in double figures for Boston. Greg Monroe scored five points with six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 18 minutes of work in his C’s debut.
Five Wizards scored in double figures, with Otto Porter Jr.’s 27 points leading the way.
The Celtics climb to 40-16 with the win, while the Wizards fall to 31-24.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes
A quality possession from one side did not go unanswered by the other throughout the first quarter, which hung in the balance as neither side could create much breathing room.
Though the Wizards finished the quarter with a 27-26 advantage, Boston put together the biggest run, a 5-0 stretch over 2:25 that turned a two-point deficit into a three-point advantage.
Washington opened up the second outscoring the Celtics 8-4 over the first 2:10, but Boston then went on a run of its own. The C’s answered with a 9-2 run over 1:57 to go up 39-37, with a rare Daniel Theis 3-pointer forcing Scott Brooks into a timeout with just over seven minutes to play.
Ultimately, Washington only extended its lead from the end of the first to end of the second by a point, leading 51-49 at the break.
Theis scored a team-high seven second-quarter points, while Terry Rozier scored a team-high 10 first-half points.
HOT SECOND HALF START
Whatever was said at halftime certainly resulted in a jolt to begin the third quarter. Boston opened up the second half on a 7-0 run in the first 59 seconds, turning a two-point deficit into a five-point advantage. The Wizards, however, quickly battled back to bring things to a tie at 58, and took a 61-60 lead at the 6:50 mark.
Though the status quo of a back-and-forth affair persisted, the Celtics did build their lead to five points to end the quarter leading 75-70.
Horford and Irving each dropped nine points in the third.
HECTIC FINAL QUARTER
Washington erased the deficit and tied things up within the first minute of the final quarter. But after the Wizards equalized the game at 75, the Celtics proceeded to build a 13-3 run over 4:58, in turn giving themselves the biggest lead of the game at 10.
But the Wizards refused to be buried, trimming the Celtics’ deficit and eventually taking a 92-91 lead with 2:11 to play. The Celtics retook the one-point lead on a pair of Marcus Morris free throws but surrendered it with a minute left on a Porter Jr. two-point pull-up jumper.
Down by three with 12.8 seconds to play, the Celtics got the ball to Irving, who took a 3-pointer with nine seconds to play. He missed but was fouled by Markieff Morris and proceeded to knock down all three free throws to tie things at 98.
Bradley Beal missed his highly-contested shot at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
BROWN HAS CLUTCH OVERTIME
The Celtics struggled to contain Marcin Gortat to start overtime, with the center scoring Washington’s first five points. Irving answered with five points, however, keeping things level at 103.
Brown hit a series of critical shots to break the deadlock and put the Celtics in a good spot. After hitting a layup with 2:32 to play, the swingman knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:43 left, putting the Celtics up by five.
Though Boston would score only two more points the rest of the way, the Wizards struggled to cash in, getting outscored 12-6 in overtime.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
This was a pretty impressive sequence for Horford and Brown.
The Celtics will return to TD Garden for the second night of a back-to-back Friday. Tip against the Indiana Pacers is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images
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