The Washington Wizards were looking to get another home victory after their twenty-seven point route of the Boston Celtics in Game 3. They would have to do it without 2nd year swing-man Kelly Oubre Jr., who was suspended for a game without pay for his altercation with Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis took to Twitter to show his support.
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) May 7, 2017
Washington came out of the gate hot with a 8-0 run to start the game. Boston quickly recovered from the slow start and took a four-point lead going into the second quarter. Washington was incapable of stopping Isaiah Thomas in the first half. He made his first five three-point shots, and finished with seventeen points in the half.
IT is now 5/5 from beyond the arc! pic.twitter.com/s08M48rciE
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 7, 2017
Boston led by as many as twelve points in the second quarter. Washington was able to weather the storm, and tie the game before the half thanks to the amazing playmaking ability of John Wall.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 7, 2017
Washington ran away with the game in the third quarter with a dominant 26-0 run. This run was fueled by forced turnovers leading to fast break opportunities. Washington finished with forty-two points in the quarter, and outscored Boston by twenty-two in total.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 8, 2017
Boston was never able to get Thomas back into an offensive rhythm after his stellar start, and that cost them tremendously in the second half. They were never able to recover and took another huge defeat away from home.
Takeaways for Washington
Despite the 0-9 start from the field, Wall staying aggressive on the offensive end was key to Washington weathering the storm in the second quarter. His play-making ability has been crucial to Washington’s past two victories. He has now had 10 straight games with at least twenty points and seven assists (an NBA record).
Bradley Beal finally found his rhythm after struggling in the first three games of the series. He will be the X-factor going into Game 5. If he can repeat this great shooting effort, Washington will have a great chance to steal a win at The Garden.
Washington was able to dominate the boards for the second straight game in a row. Markeiff Morris and Marcin Gortat have the advantage in the post in this series (contrary to their first round series), and they must continue to take advantage.
Takeaways for Boston
The Celtics were in great shape, until they got sloppy with the basketball in the second half. Washington scored twenty-one points off of nine turnovers in the third quarter. That loss of mental focus in the third quarter is what cost Boston this game. Taking care of the basketball will be imperative for them going forward in this series.
Thomas was excellent to start off the game, and then disappeared when his team needed him most. He is not solely to blame for that; Washington’s defense deserves some credit, too. Brad Stevens must find ways to get him some easy baskets, especially when Washington is overplaying him defensively.
Despite the loss, Boston got great production from the bench with fifty-four total points. That will be a huge energy boost when they play in The Garden.
Player of the Game: Bradley Beal (29 points, 11-16 from the field, 3-6 from three)
Honorable Mention: John Wall (27 points, 12 assists, 5 steals)