The Boston Celtics played great in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game against the Washington Wizards, but it went downhill fast after that for the C’s.
Washington outscored Boston 80-57 over the final three quarters to secure a 113-101 win at Capital One Arena. The win keeps the Wizards in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but they could move as high as sixth by the end of Wednesday’s regular-season finales.
The Celtics drop to 54-27 with the loss, while the Wizards improve to 43-38.
Here’s how it all went down.
PG: Terry Rozier
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes
JAYLEN BROWN LEADS THE WAY
It was the Jaylen Brown show in the first five minutes. The second-year guard hit his first three 3-point attempts and hit a pair of free throws over that span. The C’s took a timeout up 16-12, paced by Brown’s 13 points.
Brown finished with 21 points in the quarter. He shot 6-for-9 overall (5-for-7 on 3-pointers) and 4-for-4 from the foul line. He paved the way for Boston to lead 30-22 after 12 minutes.
Horford also was a factor in the first quarter. He out-hustled and out-worked the Wizards’ frontcourt and chipped in four points and five rebounds in eight minutes.
WIZARDS FIGHT BACK
The Wizards battled back to take a 40-39 advantage, then the C’s went on 10-2 run to reclaim the lead. A couple of 3-pointers helped the Wizards tie the score at 52.
Boston’s bench chipped in nine points in the quarter, led by Greg Monroe hitting on two of his three shots. The Celtics struggled from 3-point range in the second quarter as the Wiz made a stronger effort to close out and contest outside shots. The C’s did excel at the foul line, hitting on nine of their 10 attempts.
Brown led the C’s with 21 first-half points, and that was three times as many points as Boston’s next leading scorer (Rozier with seven).
John Wall led the Wizards with 16 points in the half.
The Celtics led 54-52 at the break.
WIZARDS PULL AHEAD
During halftime, the Wizards ruled out Otto Porter Jr. (right lower leg strain) for the rest of the game. He scored 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting in the first half.
The Wizards opened the second half on a 10-4 run to take a 62-58 lead. Washington built its lead to seven at 75-68 with 2:13 left in the quarter, thanks to Wall’s offense and the Wizards as a whole knocking down open shots on the perimeter.
The Celtics trimmed the deficit to five on a Tatum 3-pointer, but a quick coast-to-coast basket at the end of the quarter put the Wizards up 79-72 at the buzzer. Brown still was the only C’s player in double figures through 36 minutes, while four Wizards scored in double-digits, led by Wall’s 21.
WIZARDS PULL AWAY
A quick 5-0 burst to start the fourth quarter increased the Wizards’ lead to 84-72 — their largest of the night. A four-point play by Bradley Beal put the Wizards up 14, and a 13-5 run put Washington in front 92-77 with 5:31 to play.
Turnovers and missed open shots was a theme for the C’s in the second half, and that certainly was the case in the fourth quarter. Brown scored all five of Boston’s points through the first 6:10 of the quarter.
The Wizards were red-hot from the field in the frame, and back-to-back 3-pointers put them up 102-85 with 2:59 left, essentially ending the game.
Brown led Boston with 27 points, while Wall paced Washington with 29.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
An impressive dunk by Tatum.
The Celtics end the regular season with a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports