BOSTON -- The edge that Markieff Morris brought to the floor spilled over just 1:07 into Game 2, when he went for a loose ball and tossed Al Horford into the cameras courtside at TD Garden. Then after a 129-119 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics, his wrath was felt in the Wizards' locker room.
"We're not playing tough enough. We had the advantage late in the game and all we had to do is play tough. We didn't have to make shots. We didn't have to get stops. All we had to do is play tough," said Morris, who returned from a bad left ankle sprain from Game 1 to post 16 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes of play. "We let them get offensive rebounds late in the game. Guys just walking to the basket and we're worrying about our own personal (expletive). It's about the team. It's about winning. We didn't care about that too much tonight. We let them back in the game and got to regroup and get the next one."
The Wizards led 110-104 with 2:43 left. But consecutive three-pointers from Isaiah Thomas and Terry Rozier tied the score that would be knotted at 114 entering the extra period. From there, Boston outscored them 15-5 to take a 2-0 lead in the East semifinals.
"When we watch film. That's what they do. When they go small they play tough. Guys going in head first. That's what we got to do. It's the playoffs," said Morris, who is in the postseason for the first time in his six-year NBA careere. "Every possession counts. We seen that tonight when those guys got those offensive rebounds, got those extra possesions to win the game."
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The bigger team by a significant margin, the Wizards had a modest 44-41 edge in overall rebounding but just 13-12 on the offensive end. Rozier came off the bench to grab six for Boston, which used a lot of three-guard rotations because of Amir Johnson's ineffectiveness. Marcus Smart had five rebounds, including one that he wrestled away from Marcin Gortat in overtime to draw his sixth and final foul.
Morris was a gametime decision because of his ankle but didn't appear to struggle as he made 6 of 11 shots and beat his defender to his spots on the floor. Morris had a pull-up jumper, a blocked shot and another jumper to get the Wizards back on top 109-104 after they'd trailed briefly.
His effort was wasted and now they're in a must-win situation on Thursday for Game 3 at Verizon Center. Otto Porter had to leave the game with a bloodied nose and returned. He also fought through a swollen elbow to hit a clutch three-pointer for a 114-112 lead with 32.6 seconds left.
"It just came down to how well I could move out there when I tried it out and how much pain I could take," Morris said of his ankle before making a larger point about sacrificing to win. "It was cool. I wasn't worried about my ankle. Once I'm in the game it's about the game. ... When I'm in it, I'm in it. That's just what it is.
"It's not about no example. It's about the team. Got to give everything you got. If ain't broken and you can (expletive) play, play. Just what it is. Guy got hit in his nose, fell on his elbow, still playing."
Bradley Beal stayed on the floor throughout the game and appeared woozy at times as his body language made it evident he was miserable. He shot 4-for-15, including 1-for-9 from three, and a game-high six turnovers. Ian Mahinmi has a strained left calf and has yet to appear in the playoffs.
[RELATED: VIDEO: Morris shoves Horford out of bounds early in Game 2]