BOSTON -- The bond that exists between Jayson Tatum and Bradley Beal is Teflon-tough.
The two grew up in the same St. Louis neighborhood, with the older Beal often playing the role of Big Bro to Tatum.
So, Beal had a pretty good idea what to expect from Tatum, who had missed 17 of 18 shots on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks.
“He’s coming out gunning,” Beal said before the game Wednesday night. “I know it. He forgot about that game and looking forward to this one.”
No truer words have been spoken about Tatum, who put in some extra time at the practice facility on Monday night, just hours removed from the worst shooting game of his still-young NBA career.
And in his first chance to redeem himself, Tatum did not disappoint in helping Boston hold on for a 140-133 win.
Tatum finished with 23 points on 9-for-20 shooting to go with four assists and three rebounds.
Beal did his part for the Wizards (2-7), leading all scorers with 44 points on 17-for-27 shooting to go with five rebounds and six assists.
Former Celtic Isaiah Thomas, making his first start against his former team since being traded in 2017, had 18 points for the Wizards on 7-for-14 shooting in addition to seven assists.
Here are four other takeaways from the Celtics' ninth win in a row that puts them at 9-1 heading on their five-game Western trip.
It was yet another night where Kemba Walker got buckets in a critical surge by the Celtics that ultimately led to a victory. And what we’re seeing lately is Walker not only scoring, but doing so in a more efficient manner. Against the Wizards, Walker finished with 25 points on 8-for-17 shooting from the field. He also managed to grab five rebounds to go with five assists.
The Celtics’ second unit had been a first-rate problem most of this season in both scoring and, more significantly, having a major impact on games. That was not the case on Wednesday with the C's getting strong contributions from a number of their backups. Boston’s bench outscored their Washington brethren 40-29 with rookie Carsen Edwards leading the way with a career-high 18 points. Second-year guard Brad Wanamaker had a strong night for the Celtics as well, with 10 points and five assists. The Celtics used six players off the bench, all of whom scored at least two points.
There was no way to ignore the impact made by Edwards. Arguably one of the best shooters on the team, Edwards has looked nothing like that for most of this season. He came into the game shooting just 25 percent from 3-point range and 31.3 percent from the field. Against the Wizards, Edwards scored a career-high 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting which included going 4-for-5 from 3-point range. He also grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists.
There were a number of Celtics players who had better numbers and overall a bigger impact on Wednesday. Still, to see Kanter on the floor was a major plus for Boston, even if it was due to both Daniel Theis (finger) and Robert Williams III (ankle) being out. The Celtics are going to need Kanter to step up in a big way at some point this season. The sooner he shows he’s capable of doing Kanter-like things (score around the basket and rebound the basketball), the better off both he and the C's will be. In a limited capacity, we saw Kanter do just that against the Wizards. He was a major presence in the paint - particularly on the offensive boards - before finishing with a near double-double of 13 points on just 4-for-5 shooting, and nine rebounds.
Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Warriors, which tips off Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.