Halftime stars, studs and duds: Wizards get more physical - too physical

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Wizards get more physical - too physical

WASHINGTON – Well the Washington Wizards certainly ratcheted up their physicality, but I’m not sure this was exactly what their head coach Scott Brooks was looking for. 

The Wizards dominated both the scoreboard and the flagrant foul counter in the first half which ended with Washington holding a commanding 63-40 lead. 

Washington shot the ball well most of the half, but the shot that had everyone buzzing in the first half came after Kelly Olynyk was whistled for an offensive foul while trying to screen on Washington’s Kelly Oubre Jr. at the 9:12 mark of the second quarter.

After the play, Olynyk started walking towards the nearest official.

Oubre Jr. rose to his feet and sprinted towards Olynyk who initially had his back to Oubre Jr., and knocked him down.

Players on the floor from both teams along with the officials, made sure the incident didn’t escalate. 

The referees reviewed the play and confirmed the offensive foul against Olynyk and whistled Oubre Jr. for a Flagrant-2 foul which is an automatic ejection. 

The Wizards opened the game with a 7-2 run, only for Boston to tie things up at 12 following a Jae Crowder lay-up.

From there, things went bad – really bad – for the Celtics who didn’t score again until Isaiah Thomas made a free throw with 1:22 to play in the quarter which snapped a 22-0 run by Washington. 

Boston, used to having to make up ground against the Wizards, were down 39-17 after the first. 

And the struggles in the second quarter were just as great with the Celtics at this point looking to make the game score-wise more competitive.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Game 3 between Boston and Washington. 


Otto Porter Jr.: His ability to take advantage of the smaller Isaiah Thomas led to a great scoring opportunities. He had 15 points in the first half to lead all scorers.

John Wall: He has been the Wizards’ best player in this series, and he 3was once again producing at a high level. At the half, he had 12 points and five assists.

Bradley Beal: He looked more like his usual high-scoring self, tallying the first seven points of the game for the Wizards. At the half, he had 11 points.


Jae Crowder: It wasn’t a great half for Crowder per se, but he had 10 points and five rebounds which was as better than any other Celtic aside form Horford. 

Al Horford: It was a collective struggle for the Celtics, although Horford did some nice things at both ends of the floor. He had eight points in the first half which included a pair of 3’s. 

Bojan Bogdanovic: He has been getting torched in this series because of his shoddy defense, but he was the one with the flamethrower in the first half of Game 3. He had nine points off the bench while connecting on three of his four 3-point attempts. 


Celtics team: Picking on any one or two players or head coach Brad Stevens wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the team who collectively in a word, stunk! They shot the ball poorly, turned it over a lot and struggled in every way imaginable which is why they went into the half facing a ginormous deficit unlike anything we’ve seen in this series. 

Celtics snap skid with dominant win over Magic, 92-83

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Celtics snap skid with dominant win over Magic, 92-83

The Orlando Magic are one of the few teams already eliminated from playoff contention. 

And on Friday, it didn’t take long to see why.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST - Smart's importance, dissecting the Eastern Conference

The Boston Celtics didn’t waste any time taking control of the game and never letting up as they cruised to a 92-83 win.

Terry Rozier and Greg Monroe led the Celtics with 17 points each and Shelvin Mack had 16 points and seven rebounds for Orlando.  

With the win, the Celtics (47-22) snapped a two-game losing skid and improved their record since returning from the All-Star break to 7-3. 

Getting back on a winning track was just part of Boston’s motivation heading into Friday night’s game. 

With several key players out with injuries, the Celtics’ depth was once again on display from the opening tip to the final horn. 

In the first half, reserve guard Shane Larkin led the team in scoring with 10 points. 

And in the third quarter, backup center Greg Monroe was too much for the Magic to handle around the basket.

In the third, Monroe scored 10 of his 17 points off Boston’s bench. 

This was a game that the Celtics showed few signs of the kind of let-up we have seen them display against bad teams from time to time. 

But Orlando opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run that cut Boston’s lead down to 77-61 with 9:18 to play. 

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had seen enough and called a time-out. 

Orlando was able to chip away a little more at Boston’s lead which peaked at 24 points but was down to single digits in the fourth which provided a glimmer of hope that maybe just maybe, the Magic could get back in the game.

But when it mattered, Boston made the plays in the game’s closing moments to secure the victory. 

For the Celtics, the goal on Friday night was two-fold: find a way to win and come away healthy. 

Boston found success on both fronts, a refreshing change the Celtics hope to do more of going forward. 

Marcus Smart underwent surgery on his right thumb earlier in the day, which is expected to keep him sidelined for 6-8 weeks which would put his return to the floor at the earliest, sometime near the end of the first round of the playoffs or early into the second. 

Daniel Theis underwent season-ending surgery recently for a meniscus tear in his left knee.

And Boston played without Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness), but he might back in the lineup for Sunday’s game against New Orleans.

Al Horford returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games due to an illness, and he didn’t disappoint in finishing with a near double-double of 15 point and nine rebounds.


Celtics: Smart to be sidelined six to eight weeks

Celtics: Smart to be sidelined six to eight weeks

BOSTON – Marcus Smart is out for the remainder of the regular season, but there’s a very good chance he’ll be available at some point in the Boston Celtics' postseason quest. 
The 6-foot-4 guard underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb which is expected to keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks. 


“It’s a tough deal for Marcus,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters prior to tonight’s game. “Marcus has been an incredible player for us all year. He’s meant a lot to us.”
If we’re working from today, that would put Smart’s return to the floor most likely near the end of the first round or early in the second.
While Smart’s statistics don’t jump off the page, there’s no getting around the impact he has made on this team this season. 
After missing several games after punching a picture frame in Los Angeles, the Celtics struggled in his absence. Upon his return right after the All-Star break, the C's began playing some of their best basketball of the season. 
But as important as Smart has been to the team this season, Boston has been a “Next Man Up” squad all season, so the Celtics are well-versed on how to make up for the loss of key players. 
Look for extended minutes going forward for Terry Rozier and Abdel Nader, two of the team’s healthier perimeter players. 
Boston’s Semi Ojeleye is likely to see his role increase as well with Smart out as well as Daniel Theis who recently underwent season-ending surgery on his torn meniscus injury suffered in Boston’s 99-97 loss to Indiana. 


“We’re going to be in the process of really looking at ourselves and redistribute responsibility on our team without guys going outside of what they do best,” Stevens said. 
Smart appeared in 54 games this season, averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. He has a defensive rating of 99.6 which ranks fifth in the league among players who averaged at least 28 minutes played per game.