BOSTON -- The security on the court didn't appear to be in hurry to calm tensions that bubbled over after everyone left. And before Wizards coach Scott Brooks said a word, he took excpetion to three Boston police officers stationed in front of his locker room rather than that of the Celtics.
They quickly moved.
It all started because of a spat between Jae Crowder and John Wall. Isaiah Thomas had just lit up the Wizards for 38 points, with 20 coming in the fourth of a 117-108 win for Boston.
"I was just standing there," said Wall, who was smiling until Crowder confronted him, poked him in the face with his index finger and was slapped in return. "I just said what's up to I.T. and then I was walking back towards my locker room."
Marcus Smart, Kelly Oubre, Markieff Morris, Wall's personal bodyguard, a Wizards team security official and Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe among others got in the middle while no one from the arena security intervened. Moments later, in the narrow corridor in which the home and visting teams are in close proximity, all hell almost broke loose again.
Thomas was oblivious to what was going on as he walked down the opposite end of the hallway in a jubilant mood as the Celtics drew even in the season series 1-1.
"They can't (expletive) with a real killer," he shouted, figuratively speaking in the sporting sense.
No other blows appeared to be thrown.
Celtics players wouldn't talk about it after being instructed by coach Brad Stevens to stay tight-lipped. The Wizards, however, had no problem addressing what took place. They had an issue with Crowder a season ago when he clashed on the sideline with then-coach Randy Wittman.
Otto Porter was one of the first players to rush back to the locker room and didn't see the spat between Wall and Crowder, but he gladly dished about his feelings on the Celtics.
"We've had some past history the last couple of years with those guys," said Porter, who didn't appear to be on the court during the exchange. "They're a physical team. They try to play dirty. They try to take you out your game. Their whole team. That's just how they try to play."
Bradley Beal, who had his nose broken and a concussion after a blow to the head from Smart last season, received a technical foul after becoming entangled with him in this game, too. When the Wizards blew them out by 30 in the first meeting at Verizon Center, a frustrated Wall was ejected for a Flagrant 2 on Smart.
"It s always chippy with them. It's a phsyical team. Neither one of us likes to be punked," said Beal, who had a team-high 35 points for Washington. "It's just a physical game. That's all it was. It's not my first time behing tangled up with Marcus. He's a tough competitor. I don't think it was a dirty game. There were no crazy fouls or anything like that away from the ball. It was clean. Just a lot of smack talking, trash-talking."
The usually low-key Morris didn't want any part of it.
"A lot of woofing going on, for real," he said. "Guys exchanging words. I (don't) about the talk so I don't get around that kind of stuff... As the game went on I felt it was escalating. I didn't know it would be like that towards the end. It just adds fuel to the fire for the next time we play them. We got to keep it between the lines."