Wizards 106, Celtics 99

Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


BOSTON -- The Washington Wizards erased an 18-point first-half deficit and rallied again in the fourth quarter to defeat the Boston Celtics, 106-99, on Saturday.
Guard John Wall and forward Trevor Ariza powered a 16-2 run over 4:45 down the stretch that gave the Wizards their third straight victory, all on the road, and ended their seven-game overall and four-game road losing streaks against Boston.
The Wizards (13-12) held the Celtics without a field goal for almost the final 6:14, as guard Avery Bradley's 3-pointer with 35 seconds left and a running hook by forward Jared Sullinger with 12.7 seconds remaining left Boston's only baskets down the stretch.
Wall, who finished with 20 points and nine assists, and Ariza, who had a game-high 27 points to go with eight rebounds, both scored five points and had an assist in the big finish.
The Celtics lost their second straight game at home, blowing double-digit first-half leads in both, and fell to 12-16 but remained in first place in the dreadful Atlantic Division.
Center Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and forwards Kevin Seraphin and Nene came off the Washington bench to combine for 26 points and 14 rebounds.
Bradley, who kept the Celtics in the game as the Wizards charged back late in the third quarter, led Boston with 26 points, while Sullinger had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and forward Brandon Bass added 11 points and 11 boards.
Bradley scored 12 points in three minutes and 14 straight Boston points bridging the third and fourth quarters, helping the Celtics maintain their lead.
Washington tied the game for the first time with 41.5 seconds left in the third, but the Celtics went on an 18-10 run to lead by eight.
Wednesday night against the Pistons, the Celtics scored the first six points of the game (all by guard Avery Bradley) and went on to a 21-point lead during the first half, before losing.
Saturday, Boston scored the first seven points of the game and went on to the 18-point lead.
In the Detroit game, the Boston lead was down to 11 at halftime. Saturday, the Wizards had it down to seven at the break. They closed to within two three minutes into the third quarter before five straight points by Sullinger keyed a 7-0 run that got the lead back to nine.
The Celtics led, 70-62, when Ariza scored the next seven points, in only 31 seconds, to cut the lead to one.
Forward Martell Webster's 3-pointer tied it with 41.5 seconds left in the quarter and the Wizards were stripped of the ball before Bradley gave Boston a two-point lead after three quarters.
NOTES: The game was the first between the teams since the Celtics traded with Washington for disgruntled G Jordan Crawford on Feb. 21. Crawford has excelled under new coach Brad Stevens, and had 11 points and eight assists in the game. ... The Celtics close their pre-Christmas slate at Indiana on Sunday, while the Wizards are off until Friday, when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves. ... The trade winds blowing around the Celtics have calmed, with the Houston Rockets saying they have no plans to trade C Amer Asik and nothing coming of the Sacramento Kings' hunt for G Rajon Rondo, who has progressed to scrimmaging in practice as he nears his return from knee surgery. G Courtney Lee, one of the names mentioned in Asik deal, didn't play in the second half on Saturday.

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