The Washington Wizards were dealt a stern reminder Monday on how wide the gap is between their team and the Eastern Conference’s elite. The Wiz were manhandled by the Boston Celtics in a 126-107 affair at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
2023 lottery pick Bilal Coulibaly got the first start of fledgling NBA career. However, B Cool and the Wizards did not have an ideal start to the contest. The Celtics raced out to a 17-5 lead in the first five minutes, as Coulibaly missed his first three shot attempts.
Jordan Poole and Tyus Jones were the lone Wizards with more than two field goals in the quarter. Combining that with porous defense from the home team led to a 42-19 deficit after one.
Kyle Kuzma was the lone Wizards player in double figures at the half, scoring 11 of his 14 points in the second. Jones and Poole each added 9. But Boston’s lead grew to 77-51 thanks to Jaylen Brown’s 27 points at halftime.
The Wizards were outscored 26-24 by Brown and Jayson Tatum alone in the third quarter. The lead ballooned to 33 after quarter three.
Washington was able to trim the margin thanks to a huge garbage time run in the fourth. The Wizards began Q4 by outscoring the Celtics 19-4, which ended the game on a more respectable score of 126-107.
Kuzma led all Wizards scorers with 21 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Poole, Jones, and Deni Avdija each added 11, while Coulibaly notched career highs in points (9) and rebounds (5).
The Celtics’ All-Star duo combined for 69 points. Our old friend Kristaps Porzingis poured in 15 points and 6 rebounds in his return to D.C.