Celtics

Celtics fail to edge out Wizards in double overtime thriller

Celtics fail to edge out Wizards in double overtime thriller

BOSTON – The Washington Wizards escaped with the 125-124 double overtime win against Boston, a game that was Boston's for the taking. 

And the Wizards know this. 

Because for most of the game, it was Boston and their injury-riddled lineup that dictated the game's flow and for the most part, were in complete control.

MORE - Stevens: We had our opportunities, we came up short

And while there's certainly reason for Boston to be pleased with how they fought back the adversity of being so short-handed with one starter (Jayson Tatum) and only two regular rotation players (Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris)  available, the end result was still a loss. 

"It's tough," said Boston's Terry Rozier. "Going into double overtime and coming up short. I feel like there were times when we should have pulled away with it. It's just a learning experience and it's just tough."

Morris had similar sentiments about the game. 

"We had a lot of chances to win," said Morris who later added, "We had a lot of guys out, but at the end of the day these guys are all NBA players. We might be younger, but we are going to fight and compete."

And that approach not only resonates within the locker room, but is also recognized by opponents like the Wizards. 

"It's a testament to what they have over there, we have to give them credit," said Washington's Bradley Beal. "Coach (Brad) Stevens does a great job making sure those guys are ready to go."

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 125-124 double overtime loss to the Washington Wizards.

 

STARS

Bradley Beal: He got off to a bit of a slow start, but quickly made up for lost time with a strong performance in leading the Wizards to victory. He led all scorers with 34 points on 14-for-27 shooting along with nine assists and a blocked shot.

Marcus Morris: Brad Stevens thought Morris might need to score 35 points for Boston to win. He didn’t get there but came pretty darn close, finishing with a season-high 31 points on 11-for-22 shooting with nine rebounds, an assist and two steals.

 

STUDS

Markieff Morris: He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but played strong defense and hit timely shots in overtime in helping Washington get the win. Morris finished with 20 points on 6-for-15 shooting along with seven rebounds and four assists.

Jayson Tatum: It wasn’t an efficient night for him, and he missed some critical shots at the end of both overtime periods, but Tatum’s play was among the many reasons why Boston was in great shape most of the game. He tallied 19 points on 9-for-23 shooting to go with five rebounds and six assists.

Otto Porter Jr.: His play consistently gets overlooked, but his impact most nights is undeniable. He finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds along with three steals.

Terry Rozier: He spent a good chunk of the night defending Bradley Beal which is no easy feat, in addition to being counted to provide a significant lift offensively. Rozier had a near double-double of 21 points on 8-for-21 shooting to go with nine assists and five rebounds along with a career-high three blocked shots.

 

DUDS

Boston’s free throw shooting: It’s easy to point to the missed free throw by Jayson Tatum at the end of the first overtime that would have likely won the game for Boston. But he wasn’t alone as the Celtics as a team shot 16-for-23 from the line, or 69.6 percent compared to a Wizards team that connected on 21-of-28 free throws, or 75 percent.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Watch: Gordon Hayward dunks over defender

Watch: Gordon Hayward dunks over defender

Gordon Hayward's return from his ankle injury seems to be as close to complete as it could before training camp. 

In a video posted by his trainer Jason Smeathers, Hayward can be found blowing by a defender off the dribble and dunking on him with two hands. 

Soon, the defender will hopefully be someone like Ben Simmons or Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Hayward's recovery has been well documented, giving Celtics fans a constant progress report of where their star forward was in his path back to the TD Garden floor. 

There have been questions surrounding Hayward's return to a team that made it to Game 7 of the conference finals without him, but there was never gaps in information regarding his recovery.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Mannix: LeBron, Lakers will fall short of postseason

Mannix: LeBron, Lakers will fall short of postseason

After reaching the NBA Finals in eight straight seasons while shouldering an unprecedented workload, the idea of LeBron James missing the playoffs entirely sounds blasphemous.

Chris Mannix, however, thinks, with their current roster, the new-look Lakers will fall short of the postseason for the sixth straight season.

“It’s the island of misfit toys out there...and LeBron James,” said Mannix.

The Lakers finished the 2017-18 NBA season 35-47, 12 games behind the eighth-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves.

“You have to assume it’s 48 wins to get into the playoffs in the Western Conference,” Mannix added. “I don’t see that team making up that difference.”

James wasn’t the only addition Los Angeles made, however, bringing in veterans Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, Javale McGee, and resigning Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

If the Lakers do miss the playoffs, it will be James’ first missed postseason since the 2004-05 season, when his Cleveland Cavaliers fell short despite the 20-year-old James averaging over 27 points per game.