Though they made it closer than it probably should’ve been, the Wizards accomplished something Wednesday that they didn’t all of last season – beat the Boston Celtics.
Otto Porter set a career-high with 34 points on 14-for-19 shooting, 14 rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead all scorers. John Wall (19 points, seven assists) and Marcus Thornton (16 points, four assists, three steals).
The Wizards (2-5) had a 13-0 edge in second-chance points after the first quarter alone when they led 34-8 but had it whittled to 58-43 by halftime.
Unlike other leads that they’ve blown to start the season, they put this one away after the Celtics cut the deficit to 15 on the hot hand of Marcus Smart (20 points), who 4 of 6 three-pointers in the third.
Porter opened the fourth with six points to establish his career high.
The Wizards’ two wins have come against opponents they’ve traditionally had trouble beating. The other was the Atlanta Hawks.
- Porter doesn’t need a lot of plays run for him as he creates so much of his own offense simply by moving off ball. In this one, he flourished while on the court playing as the stretch four in a three-guard lineup as he had earlier in the season. Kelly Olynyk, playing his first game of the season, and Jonas Jerebko couldn't keep up. Porter’s previous career high (28) was scored last season at the Dallas Mavericks when he played as the stretch four for a shorthanded Wizards lineup because of injuries.
- Wall, clearly feeling as if Smart dealt him a cheap shot in the fourth, returned the favor and was ejected for the second game in a row. Officials reviewed the play and determined it was a Flagrant 2, deemed "unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent." Wall is losing his cool with the no-calls and it's not just costing him in the wallet but it could cost the Wizards. Fortunately for them, this game was a blowout.
- Beal (three points) only played seven minutes in the first half and didn’t score on four shots. He left with a hamstring injury and only played a total of 11. Thornton played an uncharacteristic 17 of 24 minutes in the first half and ended at 34. Tomas Satoransky (four points, four assists) played 32 minutes as well and Andrew Nicholson returned in a limited role (five minutes, no points) after not playing in the previous game vs. Houston.
- The Wizards defended Isaiah Thomas (23 points) well on screen-roll action and dribble handoffs to keep him out of the lane and from creating havoc. Wall played good position defense and the help from Marcin Gortat (13 pointts, nine rebounds) in the paint was there. He had minimal impact when the game was close.
- Trey Burke (18 points) had his best game of the season 7 of 9 shooting and it likely has to do with Satoransky's presence. With the 6-7 combo guard able to handle the running of the offense, inject pace in transition and it allows Burke to play off the ball more freely so he'll get the open looks.Burke looks better with two other ball-handlers on the floor regardless of position.