With playoff implications on the line for the Wizards, the Celtics missed out on an opportunity to eliminate Washington from claiming the No. 7 seed in the east -- thus, avoiding a potential first-round date against the Wizards.
Instead, the Wizards cruised to a 113-101 victory. Depending on how things pan out in the final night of the regular season Wednesday, Washington can either stay in the eighth seed with a loss against the Magic or can move up to the seventh seed if they win, but will also need the Raptors to beat the Heat in order to move up.
Wizards outscored the Celtics 61-47 in the second half, turning a close game into a drought by the end of the fourth quarter. John Wall (29 points, 12 assists) and Bradley Beal (19 points) combined for 48 points, Markieff Morris poured in 13 points while Otto Porter and Mike Scott each scored a dozen.
Boston hopped out to a quick start when Jaylen Brown broke out 21 first-quarter points, which was all but nine of the Celtics' total at the end of the opening frame. Jayson Tatum finished with a dozen and Al Horford recorded a double-double (10 points, 14 rebounds) but when the Celtics needed help from their second unit after halftime, that's when Washington picked up its momentum.
Washington kicked off the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run to build a 14-point lead (88-74) and lit the Celtics up from outside. The Wizards connected on five treys in the final frame and finished 15-of-30 on the night.
Boston trimmed its deficit to 11 but that was the closest it came to cutting their lead to single-digit territory.
With Kyrie Irving out of the picture, Boston would be an ideal matchup for the Wizards instead of facing the conference-leading Raptors -- which would be their opponent if the playoffs were to start today. Washington will attempt to do their part in defeating the lowly Magic Wednesday night and hope the Raptors will do them a solid in beating the Heat.
The Celtics on the other hand, are locked into the second seed and will just sit back and wait for the first-round bracket to work itself out. With home court advantage on their side, they'll find out their which first-round opponent will be heading to Boston this weekend at the conclusion of their season finale matchup against the Nets at TD Garden on Wednesday.
The Wizards shot 49.4 percent from the floor on 41-of-83 shots while the Celtics struggled to find efficiency throughout the night. Boston shot 37.9 percent from the floor. Although the Celtics' defense managed to forced 20 Wizards turnovers, Washington's offensive run in the third quarter catapulted a double-digit hole too steep for the Celtics to crawl out of.
Photo used is courtesy of Getty Images
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