Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 34 points (including 29 after the first half) while Markieff Morris added 20 and Otto Porter chipped in with 18 as the Wizards executed down the stretch to overcome a rough start and beat the Celtics 125-124 in double overtime on Wednesday night.
The Celtics, playing without Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart looked like a real-life version of Hoosiers as they connected on 8 of their first 11 shots to put Washington in an early hole. The Wizards trailed by as much as 20 in the first half, but they went on a late run to cut the Celtics’ lead to seven, 59-52, at halftime.
Beal, who was held to just five points in the first half, came roaring to life with 16 points in the third quarter to give the Wizards an 81-80 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Celtics jumped back ahead early in the fourth quarter, but Beal created his own shot several times down the stretch to keep Washington within striking range. Then, with just five seconds remaining and the Wizards down 106-103, Markieff Morris inbounded the ball to a cutting Otto Porter who found Jodie Meeks in the corner for three to tie the game at 106 at the end of regulation.
The Wizards had a chance to ice the game in overtime with a two-point lead, possession of the ball, and just eight seconds to play - but Markieff Morris struggled to get the ball in which led to a turnover. Then, Jayson Tatum made a layup through contact on the ensuing possession to tie the game at 115. Tatum then returned the favor and let the Wizards off the hook, missing a go-ahead free throw with three seconds left which gave Washington a second chance in double overtime.
With the Wizards up 122-119 in the second overtime period, Bradley Beal drove baseline only to get double-teamed in no man's land. Somehow, he found Tomas Satoransky who kicked it to Markieff Morris for a wide open three to put the Wizards up by six.
The Celtics were able to claw back within one, 125-124 and had an opportunity to take the lead on the final possession, but Tatum’s shot clanked off the back rim as Washington escaped with a much-needed win on the road.
Washington comes through in the clutch
There’s been plenty of chatter lately about Washington’s woes in the clutch, especially on the offensive end late in games. Were the Wizards perfect down the stretch? No. However, they looked a lot more composed and executed as well as you could have asked for in such a tight game.
Let’s break it down by period, shall we?
Fourth Quarter – After Marcus Morris knocked down a corner three-pointer which looked to bury the Wizards, Bradley Beal, the main guy who’s received this criticism remained calm and took Aron Baynes off the dribble for an easy layup to cut the lead to two. The next time down, again, he did his dance and took his man off the dribble for another layup close in to trim the lead to one.
With just five seconds remaining, Scott Brooks drew up an outstanding play in which both Beal and Porter curled off screens hoping to get either of them open for a three-pointer. Porter was not open for three but continued his cut through the lane to find Jodie Meeks in the corner for a wide-open three and he buried it.
Overtime – In the first overtime period, the ball continued to swing as Sato found Porter in the corner for three to open up the overtime period. Satoransky, who was a bit passive with his shot at times in the game, ran a perfectly executed pick-and-roll with Morris only to get fouled and knock down both free throws.
Well done by Sato here pic.twitter.com/eA6NZlbvq8— Lousy Smarch Smadness (@jakewhitacre) March 15, 2018
Double Overtime – Beal, who was so tired he could hardly cross half court, stayed in attack mode as he was able to draw a foul and get to the line to start the second overtime. Midway through the period, he took Baynes off the dribble yet again to finish with this nifty reverse layup and the foul to stretch Washington’s lead out to six, 125-119.
- Ian Mahinmi, who’s played very well since receiving a DNP against Miami the other night had a terrific game with 14 points, 11 rebounds (6 offensive) on 6-of-9 shooting
- Bad habits are turning into problems for the Wizards. Washington committed 20 turnovers resulting in 25 Boston points. But on the bright side, they only allowed 56 points in the paint!
Next up: The Wizards are off until Saturday when they host the Pacers at 7 p.m. ET.