Live from TD Garden — the Boston Celtics lost a heartbreaker in double overtime against the Washington Wizards, 125-124. The Celtics were missing six players and four starters — about 75 percent of the payroll. But the loss still stung as Boston lost a 20-point lead and a very winnable game down the stretch.
Next man up? For the Celtics, it was more like “next man — er, next next man, er… next-next-next…”
Ultimately, it wasn’t enough as Bradley Beal and a Wizards roster that’s playing pretty good team basketball on its own topped the Cs in a 58-minute grind.
By Shreyas Laddha
In a game 247 billed as a test of the Stevens Effect, results were mixed. On the one hand, Boston came out of the gate by storm and threatened to put the game away early.
On the other, horrendous team rebounding showed up in a key late-game possession that allowed an offensive rebound by Bradly Beal to lead to a game-tying score. As often happens, four Celtics stood looking up within a few feet of the basket, while no one checked the shooter.
On the other other hand — it’s not easy to play great team basketball when a lot of the guys on the floor are just up from the Maine Red Claws. And when three of your best four team rebounders (Smart, Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown) are out of the lineup. And although the Wizards were missing John Wall, they’ve actually become a #EwingTheory poster child. This thanks to both Beal and an #EverybodyEats mojo in Wall’s absence.
The Celtics started off red hot going up 20 points up on the Wizards. They shot 62 percent for the first half, but the Wizards cut it to 10 points. The Celtics cooled down and the Wizards got their first lead in the third quarter. Fast forward to the 4th quarter and the Celtics are up 106-103, but Jodie Meeks ties it up to take it to overtime.
The Celtics were down 1 in the first O.T. when Jayson Tatum took it hard to the hoop to tie the game up and was sent to the the line. In a uncharacteristic situation occurred, he missed.
Off to 2nd overtime we go and the tired legs on the Celtics really showed. They went down 5 with about 1:30 to go. Rozier hit a three to cut down the lead to 1. Tatum had a chance to win the game and he takes a contested three that ended up being too strong. The game ended with a Celtics loss 125-124
For a team depleted by injuries and a lineup that featured several Red Claws, this team showed what Celtic pride is all about. As for Tatum, I expect you at the free throw line living there (as if he isn’t already). On to Orlando as a certain coach would say.
Shreyas Laddha is a Celtics247 contributor and filed this report live from the Garden. Want to cover a Celtics game for Celtics247 File a video report from the game? Contact Celtics247 on gmail, post a comment, or DM is on twitter @Celts247.