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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unfortunately, Even the Celtics Can't Lose Every Game This Season

I pretty much only write about Celtics wins so needless to say, other than their two recent trades, I have been quiet lately regarding the Green and White. I had to break my silence tonight as Boston (15-29 overall, 6-17 away) held off Washington (20-21 overall, 10-11 home) 113-111 in overtime at Verizon Center.

With the rare victory, the Celts snapped a 10-game road losing streak and also won for only the third time in their last 18 games. Nothing from Boston's side can compare to this insane stat that I saw after the contest: John Wall (28 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals) has never been over .500 in his four years in the NBA. Wait, what? How is that even possible?

Playing on the road, in the second night of a back-to-back without Rajon Rondo (rest) and Avery Bradley (ankle), the C's shouldn't have been difficult at all for the Wizards to beat. So naturally, Boston got out to a 10-point lead after the first quarter (32-22) and 18-point advantage at halftime (61-43).

Clearly, Washington woke up in the second half-particularly in the third quarter when they outscored Boston 30-15. The Wizards also took the fourth quarter (26-23) and had a chance to win but Nene Hilario's (17 points, 9 reboudns) long jumper at the buzzer was a brick. Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza both scored 14 points while Marcin Gortat added 11 points and 13 rebounds. Martell Webster scored 10 points off the bench.

Jeff Green had one of the best games of his career with a game-high 39 points (8 3-pointers!), nine rebounds and three steals. Rookie Phil Pressey had 20 points (5 3-pointers) before he fouled out in OT, Jared Sullinger put up another double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Gerald Wallace (9 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) filled the stat sheet but most importantly made the last-second driving layup to clinch it for Boston. In his second game with the C's, rookie Chris Johnson (9 points, 4 steals) showed how much he doesn't want to return to the D-League.

Boston hit eight more 3-pointers (15-7) than Washington, made five more steals (15-10) and blocked twice as many shots (8-4). They also scored seven more fast break points (21-14) and 10 more points off turnovers (20-10).

The Celtics' reward for this hard-fought win is a day off before they return to TD Garden on Friday (7:30, CSN) to host Kevin Durant-MVP, MVP-and the Thunder (33-10, 1st in Northwest Division). Durant has scored 30+ points in nine straight games which is the main reason why this is the first Celtics game all season that I've had any interest in attending.

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