Instead, the Celtics stumbled further down the hole, losing their second straight contest in surprising blowout fashion 104-91.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth between starting shooting guards. Jaylen Brown hit five of his first eight shots to produce 11 first-quarter points. Bradley Beal was a more efficient 5-of-6, scoring 12 points to put his Wizards up seven. Kemba Walker impressed early on as well with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting in the opening frame.
Brown and Walker continued their fine play in the second quarter, finishing the half with a combined 28 points. The problem was that no other Celtic scored more than four points through the first 24 minutes. Tatum was 2-of-7 for four points. The Celtics as a team shot just 3-of-17 on threes, missed six of their 10 free-throw attempts, and a seven-point deficit doubled to 14 by halftime.
Things only spiraled from there for Boston as the same issues followed into the third. Brown and Walker were hellbent on carrying the squad with a combined 20 points, but still no other Celtic had come close to double-digit scoring. The closest was Robert Williams III with five points.
Down 25 heading into the final quarter, garbage time officially commenced, leaving the Celtics to lick their wounds until the final buzzer sounded.
Brown and Walker were spectacular, each scoring 25 points in less than 30 minutes of action, but they finished the game as the only two Celtics in double digits. Tatum struggled with his shot all day long, going 3-of-14 from the field to finish with what is by far a season-low in points with just six.
For Washington, Beal led the way with 35 points on 10-of-15 shooting along with seven rebounds and five assists. Russell Westbrook dished out 11 assists to go with 13 points and a trio of other Wizards scored in double figures.
Boston has now now lost four of its last five games to sit at an even .500 for the first time since January 1st, when they sat 3-3 in the early stages of the season. Things don’t get immediately easier as the Celtics head home to prepare for a Tuesday matchup against the Denver Nuggets.