Wizards shock Celtics without Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma

Wizards shock Celtics without Beal and Kuzma originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 130-111 on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

Big upset

The Wizards were missing three of their best players with their season on the ropes, while the Celtics were keen on getting a win with their eyes set on the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Yet it was the Wizards who prevailed on Tuesday night, as they stunned the Celtics behind a big performance on the offensive end.

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Washington shot 54.5% from the field en route to 130 points. They made 13 threes and only had 11 turnovers. It was a clean game against one of the league's very best defenses and they did it without Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Daniel Gafford.

The Wizards also got it done on that end of the floor, as they outdid the Celtics at their own physical game on a night where the referees let both teams play through contact. Every time the Celtics tried to be the aggressors, the Wizards matched their might and then some.

Washington has now won two of their last three games and sits 34-42 on the year overall. They have six games remaining.

Morris returned

While the Wizards were without some key regulars, they did get Monte Morris back after a one-game absence due to a groin injury. He was considered questionable in the leadup to the game but was able to give it a go. He also played well with 19 points, including 13 in the first half.


Morris also added nine assists and shot 9-for-15 from the field. Despite probably still experiencing some lingering effects from the injury, he had no problem knifing through the Celtics' vaunted defense. That was a good sign for him as he aims to close the year strong. The Wizards' offense as a whole also seemed to benefit from having him back out there to get them into their sets while also protecting the ball in the way only he can.

Porzingis was on

The Celtics opted to remain fairly small against the Wizards, using a big rotation of Al Horford and Robert Williams III, and Kristaps Porzingis made them pay. He had 32 points, 20 of which came in the first half, as he shot 14-for-21 from the field and 3-for-5 from three. Porzingis also added 12 rebounds, six assists, a block and a steal.

It was one of those games where Porzingis continued to hunt mismatches either by shooting turnaround jumpers over people or powering through smaller defenders in the lane. The Celtics have one of the tallest players in the league in Luke Kornet, a.k.a. the guy who popularized the 'Kornet Contest,' which Porzingis has himself utilized. But Boston never went in that direction until the game was out of hand. Porzingis, of course, didn't seem to mind.


Career night for Avdija

There was a fun game within the game as Deni Avdija and Marcus Smart, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Avdija scored on Smart in the second quarter by dribbling right at him in the lane. As soon as he got the layup to fall, he looked in Smart's direction and said something. Smart smirked and shot a glance at the Wizards' bench. Smart then knocked down a three on the other end. As Avdija ran up the court not looking in his direction, Smart held out three fingers and stared at him.

Avdija, though, had the last laugh with the best-scoring game of his career. He tied a career-high with 25 points and also added 10 rebounds and five assists. He shot 10-for-16 from the field and 2-for-5 from three. Avdija made shots from all over but did a particularly impressive job of getting to the rim off the dribble in the halfcourt. He made plays going both right and left in exactly the ways he will hope to do more often as his career progresses. It was like some future version of 'Turbo' returned with a time machine.

No plans for shutdowns

Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. was asked before Tuesday's win if the team had any intention to shut down Beal or Kuzma. The reasoning for that question is obvious given where the Wizards are in the standings, the investments made in those players, and how little is left in the regular season. In fact, that question is so obvious that Unseld Jr. has been asked by different reporters in three consecutive press conference settings.

Unseld Jr., though, says that is not in the cards, at least "not yet." Kuzma's injury, in particular, could be one to watch in that regard given he has an important summer up ahead with free agency looming. For Beal, the franchise scoring record is still within reach of surpassing this season, though barring something unforeseen he could always set it next year. As of now, they are day-to-day but stay tuned on that.