With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett back on the floor for the Boston Celtics, they were able to defeat the Washington Wizards by a score of 107-96. The Wizards were able to keep it close with until the third quarter, when a 19-3 run propelled the Celtics to a 17-point lead.
Washington was able to cut the lead to ten with 3:58 remaining in the game but they were unable to get it any closer. Paul Pierce hit a key three-pointer from the corner with 2:38 to go to get the lead to 13. The next time up the court Brandon Bass scored his 20th point after nailing a 16-foot jumper, extending the C's lead to 15.
The bench was the story tonight, as they scored 42 points. Chris Wilcox led the bench with 13 points, along with five rebounds and two steals. Shavlik Randolph managed to chip in as well with eight points and seven rebounds.
Kevin Garnett played 24 minutes with 12 points and six rebounds. He started out a little bit rough but by the end of the game he was making good plays on the defensive, most notably when he harassed Nenê into a turnover.
Like Garnett, Pierce started off slow, but ended the game well. He finished with 15 points, shooting 5-of-13 from the field. His game was highlighted by the aforementioned clutch three-pointer from the corner which managed to end the Wizards run.
Brandon Bass continued his solid play in the month of April with a 20 point performance on 9-of-12 shooting with 36 minutes played.
- Avery Bradley was aggressive in the first four minutes of the game, taking five out of the Celtics first eight shots. He finished the quarter with seven shots, scoring six points.
- Paul Pierce got off to quite a slow start, shooting 1-of-5 for five points. He didn't even take his first shot until the 5:52 mark of the game, though his two free throw attempts did come at the 8:33 mark.
- Kevin Garnett didn't even take a shot in the first quarter, though he didn't play many minutes...
- ...since Shavlik Randolph was first off the bench at the 7:30 mark of the quarter, substituting for KG. At the 3:50 mark of the period, Randolph got an offensive rebound amongst three Wizards. He took one hard dribble to get into better position and went up for a layup, drawing an and-one. He ended the quarter with five points and five rebounds. Impressive.
- Jeff Green picked up two early fouls and was removed from the game with 6:15 in the quarter. He was aggressive in his time on the court though, taking four shots, hitting two of them.
- Boston led 28-27 after one.
- Kevin Garnett got his first shot attempt of the game up at the 11:30 mark, draining a jumper from right inside the three-point line.
- Jordan Crawford looked good in the second, scoring four points on 2-of-2 shooting, along with two steals and one assist. It's pretty obvious that he wanted to burn his former team but more importantly he helped provide a spark for the Celtics. By the 7:25 mark of the quarter, the Celts were up 42-33.
- Things got really sloppy for the Celtics after building that nine point lead. There was a failed Green to Garnett alley-oop that ended in an air ball layup attempt by KG. Next play down Garnett took a fade away jumper that was also an air ball. On the Wizards end, the Celtics fumbled up a rebound that ended in a Garnett block from behind to save the team two points.
- At the 5:42 mark, Doc Rivers wisely called a timeout to slow things down after a 6-0 Wizards run.
- Chris Wilcox had a really strong period. He had eight points on 4-of-4 shooting along with two rebounds and pretty solid defense as well. There seems to be quite the competition brewing for top the backup big man spot between him and Shavlik Randolph.
- At half, Boston led 56-52.
- Jeff Green picked up his fourth foul with 8:40 left in the period. It came on a play when Nenê took a charge right to the chest after Green jumped from way too far away from the basket for a layup. Not smart.
- Boston picked up ten-point lead, the largest of the game, at the seven-minute mark of the period. By the 3:51 mark of the quarter, Boston pushed the lead to 17 after a Paul Pierce three-pointer.
- Brandon Bass continued his great game with a huge dunk at the five-minute mark that brought the crowd to its feet. It also brought Jeff Green off the bench, who was seen jumping up and down on the sidelines. Since he had four fouls it appeared he put all his energy into rooting his team on from the sidelines. Good stuff.
- Boston had a 19-3 run in the middle of the period. No player in particular stood out as it was an all around team effort that sprung the C's to the lead.
- Shavlik Randolph was impressive once again this quarter. At one point, John Wall was called for a flagrant one after hitting Randolph hard from behind. Wall appeared to be disgruntled that a foul wasn't called on the other end and took it out on Shav.
- Boston outscored Washington 31-19 this period, leading 87-71 heading into the fourth.
- Garnett showed why he is one of the best defensive players of all time when he harassed Nenê and stole the ball from him. He had made a great outlet pass to Courtney Lee though the ball eventually found it's way to Chris Wilcox, who scored.
- A few minutes later Garnett played another great play when he ran down John Wall from behind to bother his shot. There didn't seem to be much rust in Garnett's game tonight.
- The Wizards managed to cut the lead to ten by the 3:58 mark of the period but they were unable to get any closer as the Celtics increased their defensive intensity and the Wizards were unable to get anything going.
- Paul Pierce won his second Red Auerbach Award and was awarded the trophy before the game. Congrats to Paul!
- It was a bit weird that Avery Bradley was the focal point of the offense early in the game. The Celtics might've benefited more by going to Garnett and Pierce early. With Bradley taking five out of the Celtics' first eight shots, the rhythm of the offense was a bit awkward.
- The competition between Shavlik Randolph and Chris Wilcox was an interesting one to watch. Randolph is definitely a better rebounder but Wilcox is no doubt the better scorer. Both of them seem comparable defensively so it'll be interesting to see which way Doc Rivers goes.
- Jeff Green was never able to get it going tonight due to foul trouble. In 27 minutes he scored only eight points, had three rebounds, two steals and four turnovers. His play was pretty sloppy tonight but it's one bad game out of a long run of great games for him.
- Boston's bench averages 33.3 points per game this season, so it was nice to see them come out and score 42 tonight, they were terrific.
- From CSNNE.com, Kevin Garnett's postgame interview...
...you have got to love the chemistry.