The Boston Celtics now lead the Washington Wizards, 2-0. Boston took a series lead on Tuesday night after beating Washington, 129-119, in OT in Game 2.
For the Wizards, it was tough sledding, especially late. John Wall was incredible through three quarters, somehow scoring a quiet 40 points to go with 13 assists, three blocks, three steals, and three rebounds.
The first half started rough, with neither team taking command of the game enough to warrant the lead. An offensive burst halfway through the second quarter wasn’t enough to gloss over the first half ugliness, particularly as players began to take hits.
The first half was riddled with bruising play. Morris threw Al Horford to the ground — likely as retaliation for his ankle injury, in which Horford did not allow Morris to land on a jumper — in the first two minutes.
Wall landed awkwardly on his wrist two plays in a row, Avery Bradley left the first half a minute early to deal with his right hip, and Otto Porter Jr. got whacked in the face so hard by Thomas that he had to run to the locker room to stop blood gushing out onto the court.
The second half wasn’t much calmer as Washington jumped out to a lead in the third quarter behind stellar play from Wall.
Boston still couldn’t find their way on top until midway through the fourth quarter. Stellar play and big 3-point shots from Thomas pushed the Celtics over the Wizards as Washington failed to put together anything of substance on offense.
That all boiled down to an intense final few minutes. Thomas was incredible late, at one point giving Morris an ankle-breaking crossover to pull within two points with 30 seconds left. The Celtics PG drew two quick fouls in the final 20 seconds on Marcin Gortat, putting him at the line to tie the game at 114.
Washington got a final possession with 14 seconds left, but a Wall isolation followed by a Bradley Beal airball from 12 feet pushed the game to OT.
In extra time, it was all Thomas for Boston. The Celtics guard took over, scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter and OT. At one point with 1:07 left Thomas hit a jumper from the free-throw line that had him falling over. Thomas was fouled, and converted on an and-1 that would end up being the distance Boston needed to push past the Wizards.
Washington looked absolutely gassed in OT, with both Wall and Beal looking like they were unable to get enough lift to even get a solid jumper up.
Game 3 is in Washington on Thursday.