Even with Russell Westbrook playing in the second leg of a back-to-back and 46 points from Bradley Beal, the Wizards fell to a painful 111–110 loss to the Celtics Sunday night.
After missing all four of their shot attempts from the field to start the game, Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks took an early timeout with his team trailing 7–0. Following the break, it was Beal’s free throws that gave the Wizards their first points of the game. The visitors finally made a non-free throw at the 5:41 mark of the first, courtesy of Davis Bertans (20 points, 5–9 from three off the bench). Despite shooting 6–17 from the field, Washington’s 14 points from the line kept the game competitive and the score close — 33–28.
The second started with a Russell Westbrook (24 points, 11 rebounds, four assists) and-one, followed by a Davis Bertans three. Beal hit two more free throws, but the Celtics — through Jayson Tatum (31 points, eight rebounds) and Kemba Walker (21, eight assists) — paced Boston’s attack. Washington’s continued shooting struggles, combined with excessive fouling (16), would have sunk them if not for Beal’s 24 first-half points. The back-and-forth nature of the second quarter — each team scored 27 points — saw the away side down by just five at the break.
As the Celtics’ lead ballooned to 11, Brooks called a timeout to stop the bleeding. Beal, again, kept his team in the game, forcing a Boston timeout after tracking down his missed shot for a put-back two that cut the lead to five. Washington maintained the pressure and closed the gap to three, but they couldn’t take the lead against their Eastern Conference foes.
Isaac Bonga, who has been on the fringes of the rotation lately, helped the cause despite going 0–5 from behind the arc. The 21-year-old had two rebounds, one block, one steal and was a defensive presence. When Beal hit a deep two to cap an 8–2 run to start the final frame, which put the Wizards up three, Boston called for a breather. The teams continued to one-up each other as the quarter wore on, but it was the home side that got the last laugh. A late-game choke, plus an ill-timed Bradley Beal slip, cost the Wizards the win.