The Washington Wizards lost to the Boston Celtics, 118-100 on Tuesday night in the upper half of the NBA’s Play-In Tournament. With the win, the Celtics will earn the No. 7 seed and play the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
On the surface, Washington had a good defensive night, holding Boston to a 39.6 percent shooting night. But Jayson Tatum scored 50 points for the Celtics while Kemba Walker added 29 more. For the Wizards, Russell Westbrook scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while Bradley Beal added 22 more. Ish Smith was a bright shot from the bench with 17 points. It was notable that Beal didn’t play like his normal self due to a hamstring injury.
The Wizards also gave up 15 turnovers which turned into 20 Celtics points. Meanwhile, they only scored 6 points off of 11 Celtics turnovers. Things like that and the fact that Boston made 15 three-pointers overall and made 27 free throws (The Wizards only made three three-pointers and 17 free throws — and Davis Bertans couldn’t make any threes) were what made this game the blowout loss it was.
As for the synopsis of this game, Washington started this game allowing the Celtics to make five three-pointers (while they didn’t make any themselves, giving Boston a 27-21 start in the first quarter. That said, their second quarter was much stronger. They held Boston to 29 percent shooting and Russell Westbrook kept making Russell Westbrook plays:
sheeeeeesh, @russwest44 pic.twitter.com/woiNebz9sB— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 19, 2021
While Washington had a 54-52 lead at halftime, things unraveled in the third quarter as Tatum scored 23 of Boston’s 38 points while Washington had no answer for him. And the fourth quarter just extended the misery for Washington.
This loss wasn’t good, and I hope Beal isn’t injured any worse. But at least the Wizards have one more chance to make it to the first round of the playoffs. Their next game is on Thursday against the Indiana Pacers at home and tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET.
See you then.