Celtics-Wizards takeaways: Dennis Schroder provides spark, but defense struggles

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Celtics-Wizards takeaways: Schroder provides spark, but D struggles originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics battled back from a double-digit deficit, but they couldn't complete the comeback vs. the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Down 10 points at the half, the C's bounced back with a 22-8 run in the third quarter. They couldn't finish the job in the fourth, however, resulting in a 116-107 loss.

Bridges has great reaction to being dunked on by Brown

Here are a few immediate takeaways from the defeat, which brings Boston to 2-3 and Washington to 3-1 on the season.

No answer for Montrezl Harrell

From start to finish, Montrezl Harrell was the best player on the court Wednesday night at TD Garden. The Wizards big man was a problem for the Celtics on both ends of the court, finishing with 25 points (10-of-13), 11 rebounds, and two blocks off the bench.

Boston actually did a nice job of keeping Bradley Beal in check as the Wizards star ended up just 7 of 25 from the floor with 17 points. Unfortunately for the C's, Harrell stepped up to carry the load alongside guard Spencer Dinwiddie (22 points).

Defensively, the Celtics-- with the exception of Marcus Smart -- looked checked out for most of the game. That ultimately made the difference along with Harrell's outstanding play.

Dennis Schroder provides a spark

Newly-acquired guard Dennis Schroder has been one of the Celtics' best offensive players through the first five games of the season. He was the spark plug in Wednesday's loss with 22 points, six assists, and two steals off the bench.

If Schroder keeps this up, head coach Ime Udoka might have a decision to make with his starting lineup. It's always nice to get a spark off the bench, but right now it looks like the starters could use an energy boost.

Al Horford picks up where he left off

Horford returned to the C's lineup after missing the team's win over the Charlotte Hornets and once again, the 35-year-old looked sharp. He notched 16 points, 11 rebounds, a steal and a block in 26 minutes.

There probably should be a "2" in the blocks column. Horford appeared to have a clean block on Harrell, but Udoka already used up his challenge earlier in the game.

And for what it's worth, Horford wasn't pleased with the team's effort level either.

It was a disappointing result for the C's, but Schroder and Horford certainly provided a couple of bright spots heading into Saturday's rematch in Washington.

Not Jaylen Brown's night

Since that 46-point outburst in the season opener, Jaylen Brown has been inconsistent. The Celtics' All-Star wing struggled with only nine points in the loss to Toronto, followed that up with a 30-point performance vs. Charlotte, and on Wednesday it was another night to forget.

Brown was virtually invisible for the first three quarters, going 1-for-11 from the field before finally finding his shot toward the end of the game. He finished 5 of 16 with 13 points and four rebounds.

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum tallied 23 points but wasn't all that efficient in the loss, shooting 9-for-22 from the field and just 1-for-8 from beyond the arc. The Jays will look to return to form and maybe even hit their magic number of 30 again when they take the court Saturday.

Payton Pritchard?... Bueller?

C's guard Payton Pritchard may have been able to give Boston an energy boost, but he was noticeably absent from Wednesday's game. Udoka opted to keep Pritchard on the bench, leading to the first healthy DNP-Coach's Decision of his Celtics career.

Also absent was Aaron Nesmith, who might be in Udoka's dog house after a rough start to the campaign. In three games, the second-year wing hasn't been able to tally a point.