home 2016-17, Blogs, Game Coverage Dearly Departed: Wizards Back Up ‘Funeral’ Talk; Bury Celtics 123-108

Dearly Departed: Wizards Back Up ‘Funeral’ Talk; Bury Celtics 123-108

Wizards 123
Celtics 108

January 24, 2017 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC

NBA Stats Box Score

“Just having fun with it, no pressure,” Markieff Morris said about the Washington Wizards black out game against the Boston Celtics. The rest of his teammates agreed with his statement after the 123-108 victory, which would have been more embarrassing than usual should they have lost. The home team, now boasting 14-game winning streak at the Verizon Center, was led by the House of Guards who combined for 58 points, 12 assists, 9 boards, and five steals. That got some love from Boston head coach Brad Stevens post game.

“He’s [Beal] really good. I mean I said it before the game, [John] Wall and Bradley [Beal] are both in discussion for All-Stars and they should be—tremendous young players. They impact every game like that, not just this game.”

1st quarter

The Polish Machine was dominant early as Marcin Gortat had four buckets in less than six minutes to open the game. Gortat was the beneficiary of passes from Wall, Beal, and Morris as he took advantage of his matchup with Al Horford and switches. Gortat has not ended the last three games as Brooks has opted to go small to increase his defense’s versatility and ability to switch the coach said pre-game.

Washington dominated the first quarter in most categories including field goal percentage 73.7 to 39.1 and rebounding 11-6. However, with 1:43 left in the frame, Washington was only up by two because of five turnovers in the quarter. Thanks to the Wizardry of John Wall with two tough fade away jumpers late, Washington ended the quarter on a 7-0 run and were up 33-24.

2nd quarter

Following a three-pointer from Kelly Oubre to put Washington up 12 with eight minutes to play, the home team was feeling pretty good about themselves but then the lead began to dwindle. Boston went on an extended 14-6 run. Rookie Jaylen Brown had a three-point play as well as a three-pointer to fuel the run and earned the start in the second half.

Boston would draw to within three points but no closer before halftime. There was certainly a lack of defense for the Wizards, but they were able to simply outscore the Celtics tonight. At the end of the first half, Washington was shooting 65 percent from the field, 26 of 40, and 61.5 percent from beyond the arc, 8 of 13. As a result, the home team had a 66-59 lead at intermission.

3rd quarter

It was the John Wall show, even more so, out of halftime. The Wall Star finished with 11 points, two boards, two assists, and a dime in the quarter along with some moves to make everyone’s favorites Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder look foolish.

Things were status quo for the home team in the quarter as they began to lock in on defense a bit more on the Celtics. Besides Crowder, no Boston player had more than one bucket in the quarter and the Celtics themselves only scored 21 points large in part to Washington forcing 1 of 6 shooting from behind the arc in the quarter. Brooks correlated the Celtics 10 of 33 shooting from deep to Washington playing better defense, which has come a long way since the beginning of the season. The Wizards led 91-80 entering the fourth.

4th quarter

Washington scored 32 points in the quarter and it was full of fun. First Markieff Morris had a beautiful full and cross court length outlet pass that had the perfect amount of pace on the ball to get Beal a slam. Kelly Oubre had one of his career-high tying three three-pointers. Probably most hilariously, Washington was forcing passes straight out of bounds to invisible players (essentially Marcus Smart since he didn’t show up as you will read later).

Through all the aforementioned glory, the fourth quarter belonged to Bradley Beal. The sharp shooter was 6 of 7 from the field for 13 points in the quarter. He was filthy and personally backed up his decision for the black out game all the way until the end. Washington won another game at home, their 14th in a row, by a score of 123-108.

#WizCeltics in a Tweet

The Game’s Top Performer

Bradley Beal – 31 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals

Going into last game, Beal had missed 20 three-pointers in a row. That seems like a long time ago as The Panda went off against the Celtics with a thirty spot. His coach and teammates expected him to break out of the rut.

“I liked it. I liked it. You know what? He’s a good player. The other 14 coaches are going to have to make a tough decision on who makes the All-Star team, but he’s as good as any guard in the East and, hopefully, they see that like I get to see it every day in practice and every night we play.” – Scott Brooks

“He is capable of doing that any day. He is a great scorer and a great player. He had a couple games where he didn’t shoot the ball well. He is back now and we expect him to do that.” – Markieff Morris.

A forgettable night for..

Marcus Smart

Trailing Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart is Public Enemy No. 2 in DC because of his antics in past games against Washington. Smart did little to back up his trash talk on the floor by finishing 4 of 13 from the field for a mere 13 points. Then he went on to have a meltdown on the bench by yelling at his own coaching staff.

Key Stat of the Night

Simple stat last night: Washington went for a season-high 123 points. The previous high was against Detroit on December 16 when they won 122-108. Washington finished shooting 57.8 percent from the field as they aggressively attacked the paint for 50 points. The Wizards added 14 second chance points and 23 more on the fast break.

What’s next?

Washington travels to Atlanta for a Friday night matchup from the Philips Arena. The Wizards will have a day off on Wednesday, much deserved after a heavy minutes back-to-back for the starters, but will get back to work as they look to make it two in a row against the Hawks. Washington’s first win of the year was against Atlanta in early November.

Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for Hoop District covering the Wizards. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland, College Park. Neil also covers the Washington Redskins for Breaking Burgundy and Maryland Terrapins for Testudo Times. Neil previously covered the Wizards for District Sports Page and is looking forward to bring his in-person coverage to each of the loyal Hoop District followers.

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