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.