Irving, Brown lead balanced Celtics over Wiz in OT, 110-104

Jaylen Brown - Kyrie Irving - Celtics top Wizards - image credit: @Celtics

Jaylen Brown knocked down a key three giving the Celtics a 5-point lead late in overtime, Kyrie Irving was cold-blooded at the free-throw line, as the Celtics stole a road game in Washington, 110-104.

Even given John Wall’s absence, savvy observers were worried about things like “the Ewing Theory” heading into Thursday, and late in the game, they proved right.

The Celtics built, then gave away, a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. Irving’s three clutch free throws — so hard to make three in a row like that — tied the game at 98-98 with 10 seconds to play.

Then a scrambling Celtics defense — Brown and Terry Rozier wearing down Bradley Beal as they had all night — got a stop at the end of regulation.

All of which set up the game-changer. With the Celtics clinging to a two-point lead with two minutes left in overtime, Brown — a leader of the Three-Point Amigos — knocked down a corner three to give Boston some breathing room.

“The shot clock was going down,” Brown said. “So I took my time and shot a shot that I’ve been practicing. I’ve been working on it a lot, and it showed itself in the game.”

Brown (18 points) and Irving (28) led the attack, but “balance” was a catchword again as four other Celtics scored in double figures (Marcus Morris, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, and Rozier.) Morris shot a somewhat chilly 5 for 14 from the floor, but let the Celtics in rebounds with 8.

Playing in his Celtics debut, veteran big Greg “Moose” Monroe scored only five points (in less than 20 minutes). But he added six rebounds, two steals, and two assists, and was second on the team in plus-minus (+9).

Jaylen Brown highlights

Early third quarter: Dr. Jaylen Brown goes behind-the-back. (cc: Julius Erving.)

Kyrie Irving

Irving’s hard push brings Boston within one late in the fourth quarter.

#BannersAreFlat, #TheEarthisFlat — and Kryie tends to leave defenders #FlatFooted early in the game.

Wrong uniform, but this move by Irving is sheer #Wizardry.

Eearly Kyrie steal leads to the easy bucket for Jayson Tatum.

Al Horford — The Big Fundamental

Al Horford hustles for the slam.

“The Big Fundamental” with the clean strip — and a classic Celtic fast break.

Terry Rozier: Scary

First of many…

Greg Monroe
scores his first basket as a Boston Celtic. (More to come from the author of the new #MonroeDoctrine — no foreign interference around either basket.)

“I felt good,” Monroe said post-game. “I had to get in a rhythm because I hadn’t played in a while. But I felt good out there.”

“Outside the Box-Score” Notes

Celtics Washington Wizards official box score - NBA - Celtics 110, Wizards 104 - February 8, 2018Official box score nearby. Click for larger view.

— The Celtics actually won the points-in-the-paint battle, 42-40. Monroe’s presence, and Daniel Theis’s and Al Horford’s rebounding and rim protection helped. So did Brown’s, Irving’s, and Rozier’s assaults on the net.

— As they have often, the Celtics struggled on the boards against Washington — outrebounded Boston 52-45. But second-chance points were even, 13-13.

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Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff is composed of fans, journalists, disbarred attorneys, people laid off by ESPN, and other disreputable types who spend too much time watching basketball -- and loving it. If you'd like to join our merry band, you can post a comment, tweet us at @Celts247, or email us (see the contact page.) The only requirement is that you bleed green.
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