The Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards 123-111 to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals after making 19 3-pointers to tie a franchise playoff record.
The Celtics overcame a sluggish start as they trailed the Wizards 16-0 early in game one. The Wizards were able to jump out to an early lead only to see it dwindle as the Celtics made their run.
Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points and nine assists while the team tied a franchise playoff record making 19 three-pointers. Even through the adversity of a knocked out tooth, Thomas was able to make shots and prove his toughness throughout.
Al Horford had a huge impact on the game scoring 21 points, collecting 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists in a near triple-double for the Celtics big man. The Wizards defense also had no answer for Jae Crowder, who scored a career playoff-high 24 points.
Washington played well through three-quarters of basketball but failed to defend perimeter shots throughout the game. The Celtics were pouring down 3’s and the Wizards defense could not weather the storm late in the fourth quarter.
Bradley Beal led the way for Washington with 27 points, John Wall added 20 points and 16 assists. Marcin Gortat had a solid outing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Markief Morris had to leave the game due to a sprained left ankle in the second quarter. He only played 11 minutes.
Even though Boston had a great performance from beyond the arc, hitting 19 3-pointers is an aberration for this team. If the Wizards want to steal the next game on the road, they must defend the perimeter shooters more effectively. Thomas was picking their defense apart by penetrating and kicking the ball out to open shooters.
Adjustments will be made by both teams heading into game two but the Wizards need this game to swing home-court advantage in their favor. On the other hand, Boston will look to keep their shooting hot streak going and head to Washington with a 2-0 lead.
For the first time in his career, John Wall has lost a Game 1. He’s now 5-1. pic.twitter.com/GU57ziWqwj— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 30, 2017
Power forward Morris is expected to play for the Wizards on Tuesday night despite his injury. The team is also missing their backup center Ian Mahinmi due to an injury he incurred in the previous series against the Chicago Bulls. His status is day-to-day.
Game two of the series is set for Tuesday night 3:00 AM (UAE) time.
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