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Wizards fall to Celtics in OT

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Wizards fall to Celtics in OT

By KEN POWTAK

BOSTON (AP) -- Brandon Bass scored five straight points in overtime, helping the Boston Celtics pull out a 100-94 win over the Washington Wizards on the back end of a home-and-home Wednesday night.

Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 14 assists and reserve Jason Terry had 16 points. Bass finished with 11.

Bradley Beal, Kevin Seraphin and Martell Webster each scored 16 points for the Wizards (0-3).

Bass hit a tiebreaking free throw, making it 93-92, then scored on a twisting layup on the next possession. He added a breakaway dunk with 37.7 seconds left to help seal it.

Boston (2-2) beat the Wizards 89-86 in Washington on Saturday night.

Reserve Chris Singleton's clean drive down the lane for a dunk tied the game with 9.4 seconds left. Rondo then missed a jumper as the horn sounded, sending the game to OT.

Beal's 3-pointer from the top of the key had given the Wizards an 83-82 lead with 68 seconds left, and they made it 84-82 when Webster hit a free throw after Garnett was whistled for a technical.

But Garnett was fouled on Boston's ensuing possession and hit both free throws, tying it. Pierce then stole the ball from Seraphin at midcourt and was fouled, hitting the first of two to push Boston ahead 85-84.

After Webster turned the ball over trying to drive the lane, Rondo hit one of two free throws to make it 86-84 with 27 seconds left.

Singleton nailed two free throws tying it at 86 before Rondo hit a 20-foot jumper from the top of the key to push Boston back in front.

Boston had taken a 71-60 lead with just over 10 minutes to play on Paul Pierce's three-point play, coming on just his second basket of the game, when he was fouled on a fast-break layup. The Wizards then climbed back mostly behind the play of Singleton, who scored six of Washington's eight points as it narrowed the gap to 77-76 on Webster's 3 with 5:19 left.

After Terry nailed a 3 for Boston, the Wizards scored the next four points, tying it 80-all on Seraphin's dunk with 3 1/2 minutes to play.

The Celtics had trailed by seven in a first half that mostly featured poor shooting and sluggish play -- except when Garnett was on the floor -- but scored the initial five points after the break to tie the game at 42.

Garnett had 10 rebounds, two blocked shots and seven points in the first half and the Celtics outscored the Wizards by 11 when he was on the floor.

Washington pulled to a 49-44 lead midway into the third quarter on Beal's three-point play before Boston closed the quarter by scoring 12 of the final 14 points to grab a 66-58 lead entering the final quarter. Chris Wilcox, still working back into shape after heart surgery last season, sparked the run with six points and Terry had a pair of baskets.

Washington shot just 29 percent in the opening quarter and trailed 21-16 at the break, but used a 20-7 run midway into the second en route to a 42-37 halftime edge.

NOTES: Garnett had 10 rebounds in just his first 7:09 of play, collecting his 10th only 16 seconds into the second quarter. ... Wizards C Nene was out again with plantar fasciitis of his left foot. He hasn't played yet this season. ... Washington G Jordan Crawford, who tweaked his ankle in the loss to Boston Saturday, returned to action. ... Boston rookie F Jared Sullinger started his second straight game and coach Doc Rivers had a simple answer why. "We're playing the same team," he said. ... The Celtics host Philadelphia Friday before playing four of five on the road. ... The Celtics were given a delay of game warning because Garnett wasn't ready for the tip, going through his usual pregame ritual when he goes under one of the baskets and slightly bangs his head against a padded support to get motivated.

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How drawing up a play in the interview process helped sell the Wizards on Troy Brown

How drawing up a play in the interview process helped sell the Wizards on Troy Brown

While meeting with Oregon's Troy Brown during the pre-draft interview process, evaluators from the Washington Wizards issued him an on-the-spot challenge. Head coach Scott Brooks pulled out a dry-erase clipboard and a pen. He wanted to see Brown draw up a play.

This is a test Brooks has administered before to other players. Some have failed miserably.

"It sounds easy to throw a board at somebody in front of a big group and say 'okay draw a play' and I have seen many plays drawn, and I have seen it where there are not five players on the floor," Brooks said.

That wasn't the case with Brown. He didn't just draw up one play, he drew up several. One in particular came to mind when asked by reporters on Thursday night soon after the Wizards took him 15th overall in the first round of the NBA Draft.

“I think it was a situation where we were down by two or something like that," he said. "It was like a back screen into a slip, and then the fade three and they gave you a lot of various options to cause mismatches on the court for a last minute shot to either go ahead, or even attack the basket for a layup to go into overtime.”

NBC Sports Washington analyst Cory Alexander, a veteran of seven NBA seasons, demonstrated what Brown's play looked like on a whiteboard:

The Xs and Os of basketball flow effortlessly for Brown and Wizards' brass couldn't help but be impressed.

"He really understands the game. I think for a kid that is 18 years old, that is rare but he just has a good feel," Brooks said. 

"We were impressed with his character and the type of person he is and his basketball knowledge," team president Ernie Grunfeld said. "Obviously, like any young player, he has a lot of work to do but he has a lot of the intangibles that I think you need in today's game."

Smarts are a big part of what makes Brown a good basketball player. He isn't a particularly explosive athlete, with a modest 33-inch max vertical leap, but he boasts a 6-foot-10 wingspan and solid agility. Being in the right place at the right time and knowing how to operate an offense help him make the most of his natural abilities.

Passing is where his basketball IQ comes in handy. Brown is unusually good at distributing for a 6-foot-7 small forward. He averaged 3.2 assists as a freshman at Oregon and nine times had five assists or more in a game.

He can pass like a point guard and the Wizards are excited to implement that skill into their offense.

"Passing is contagious. We’ve been pretty good the last two years and with talking about that how we even want to take another step," Brooks said. "He has the ability to make a lot of quick plays and his ball handling is pretty good for a guy his size. That is one thing I was impressed in his workout last week or when we had him. He is able to take the contact and use his strong frame to get inside the key and make plays.”

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE:

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller analyze the Wizards' two picks the night of the draft.

They went in-depth on first round pick Troy Brown, Jr. and why the Wizards took him when some big names were still on the board. They also broke down why the Wizards chose to pick a draft-and-stash guy in the second round.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!