It was hard to imagine the Boston Celtics would get off to a worse start than the one we saw on Sunday against Denver.
And then they returned the floor and unfortunately for the Celtics, picked up where they left off by digging themselves an early hole and never recovering against the Washington Wizards who went going away, 118-93.
WIZARDS 118, CELTICS 93:
- Blakely: Smart exactly what Celtics starting lineup needs right now
- Highlights: Washington Wizards 118, Boston Celtics 93
- Isaiah Thomas: 'We're not the hardest playing team no more'
- Stars, studs and duds: Celtics have no answer for Otto Porter Jr.
The Celtics (3-4) have now lost three straight and fall below .500 for the first time since ... last year when they began the season with a 3-4 record.
And while they struggled during stretches in all four quarters, it was their feeble play in the first that ultimately sealed their fate.
Washington (2-5), losers in five of their first six games, had a decisive 34-8 lead after the first.
According to NBA statistics guru Dick Lipe, the 26-point deficit was the largest faced by the Celtics in franchise history after one quarter of play. And on top of that, the eight points scored by Boston in the first quarter was the second-fewest points scored in the first quarter by the Celtics.
It was yet another dismal performance by the Celtics defensively with too many Celtics showing little fight on so many levels defensively.
And it added up to a struggling Wizards team enjoying the best game of their still-young season.
Otto Porter Jr. was especially impressive as he had a double-double of 34 points and 14 rebounds. The 34 points were a career high for Porter, and was the second straight game the Celtics allowed a player to score 30 or more points against them.
On Sunday, Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay had a career high-tying 30 points. He was especially impactful in the first quarter when he had 13 points in just seven minutes of court time.
Following Washington’s first quarter dominance, Boston could not get any closer than 15 afterwards, but for the most part spent the game facing a deficit that hovered around 20 points.
Not only did Boston have trouble executing the basics defensively like keeping their man in front of them, the Celtics continued to struggle mightily when it came to limiting second-chance opportunities.
Washington absolutely crushed the Celtics on the offensive glass which paved the way for a dominant 33-10 advantage on second-chance points.
Isaiah Thomas had a double-double for Boston with 23 points and 10 assists. The Celtics also got a solid performance from Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart who had 21 and 20 points, respectively.