Monday, March 18, 2024

Celtics 130, Wizards 104: Sam Hauser drops a career-high 30 to cruise past Washington

The Celtics down three starters beat the Washington Wizards 130-104 at Capital One Arena Sunday night.

Sam Hauser went for a career-high 30 points on 10-of-13 from 3-point range to go along with six rebounds in a starting role for Jaylen Brown (ankle sprain), before an ankle injury midway through the third quarter sidelined him for the rest of the game.
"I loved his confidence, I loved his aggressiveness," Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said of Hauser. "I loved how guys looked for him. He got his shots within the flow of our execution. And that's the weapon that he is."
Jayson Tatum also recorded 30 points on 8-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-12 from deep and six assists, while Payton Pritchard notched his first double-double of the season with 14 points, 13 assists off the bench. Al Horford started in place of Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring) -- who missed his fifth straight -- to net 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
"That's why we have that stay-ready group, frankly, for days like this," Tatum during his postgame comments. "We can just plug in certain guys in certain positions and moments. And the expectation is that we don't skip a beat."
Luke Kornet also chipped in 14 points in extended minutes, as Derrick White (hand sprain) was the third player for Boston to sit out on the first night of a back-to-back.

Jordan Poole led the Wizards with 31 points and former Celtic Justin Champagnie added 14 points and eight rebounds. Washington dropped to a league-worst 11-57, as they were playing without Kyle Kuzma (shoulder).

The Celtics jumped out to a 45-27 lead after one (season-high for points in the first period) on 18 points by Tatum alone, which turned into a 81-53 advantage at the break on 17-of-28 from behind the arc -- seven of them came from Hauser on only nine attempts.

Boston shot 56.8% from the floor in the first half, before going on a 11-3 spurt to start the third quarter, that included three more 3-pointers by Hauser to put the C's ahead by 36 (their largest margin) with 9:13 left to play in the frame.

Hauser hit one more three prior to his exit and finished with 10, one-shy of the franchise record of 11 by Marcus Smart and four short of the all-time NBA record of 14 set by Klay Thompson.
"I know Klay did it and it was pretty impressive," Al Horford said in his postgame presser. "Us shooters, we know those records. ... We're very aware of it and were pulling for Sam."
The Celtics (53-14) never trailed in this one and they'll return home to host the Detroit Pistons (12-55) Tuesday at TD Garden.  

Game Notes:

Boston was 49.4% from the field, including 24-of-50 (48%) from long distance, while the Wizards were 46.1% from the floor and 10-of-34 from 3-point range. The C's out-rebounded the home team 43-40 but were outscored in the paint 54-36. The Celtics had 30 assists (15 turnovers) on 43 baskets to the Wizards' 24 dimes (16 turnovers) on 41 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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