The Washington Wizards trailed by 20 midway through the second quarter Wednesday night to the Boston Celtics and appeared as if they were on their way to a second loss in as many nights, but Bradley Beal and his teammates fought back and mounted a comeback victory in a double-overtime thriller at the TD Garden.
The Panda exploded in the second half, scoring 29 of his 34 points in the final two quarters and the extra periods in a game the Wizards needed to win. Beal also added nine assists and seven rebounds in a near-triple-double effort.
Every team the Wizards have faced in their previous 10 contests is currently in playoff position if the season were to end today. Entering the night, the Wizards were 2-5 in their last seven games, so Brad knew the importance of picking up a win against the second-place Celtics.
“We could have easily folded or gone in the opposite direction. We could have continued to drop in the seeding, or we could have forgotten about last night and went on to tonight,” Beal said. “I’m proud of my teammates. We did a good job of staying poised, balanced and battling this one out.”
Because of balanced scoring from the starters and solid contributions from the bench, the Wizards were able to overcome a sluggish start and a season-high 31 points from Marcus Morris, Markieff’s brother.
Markieff Morris added 20 points and seven rebounds of his own for Washington and Otto Porter Jr. notched a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the victory. Of course, their valiant effort would have been all for nothing if not for Jodie Meeks’ corner three that tied the game with 2.4 seconds left.
The Wizards held a two-point lead as the clock winded down in the first overtime. Then, Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum finished an and-one drive with 3.1 seconds remaining, and the Wizards’ hopes looked slim. Tatum would miss the ensuing free throw, sending the game to a second overtime.
BB added four points in the second extra period, including converting a three-point play to put the game away, and the Wizards were able to hold on for an exciting, exhausting victory.
“It was a rollercoaster ride,” Scott Brooks said. “It was like two games, a 12-minute game at the start of the game and then the three quarters plus overtime.”
While the opponents won’t get any easier for Washington, the Wizards will get some well-deserved rest before their next game against the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers have risen to the third spot in the Eastern Conference, but Bradley Beal and company will have a couple days to rest before hosting them at Capital One Arena on Saturday at 7pm ET. This game could be crucial for seeding at season’s end as the winner of Saturday’s game will decide the season series, giving the winner the edge in potential tiebreakers for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference.