Wizards

Brooks, Beal have harsh words for late-game mistakes vs. Celtics

Wizards

Scott Brooks said the loss was on him. Bradley Beal called the ending the "goofiest s---" he had ever seen in his life. The Wizards could only shake their heads in frustration after a game they felt was theirs before it slipped away.

On Sunday night in Boston, the Wizards led the Celtics by eight points with under three minutes to go and by five points with 44 seconds remaining. But the Celtics escaped with the win in part thanks to some head-scratching mistakes by the Wizards at moments they could least afford them.

With 12 seconds left, Beal got the ball on an inbound pass and stepped out of bounds. He was trapped by two defenders and slipped.

With five seconds to go, Jayson Tatum got all the way to the rim to sink the go-ahead basket. He scored the Celtics' final eight points, the last six of them on layups.

Then, on their final possession, the Wizards got the ball to Beal but with two defenders all over him. He barely got the shot off.

On the play with 12 seconds left, when Beal fell, Brooks had one big regret.

"I should have called the timeout," Brooks said.

"Most of the time they will trap you and foul you and put you on the free throw line. Unfortunately, he slipped on a wet spot. That’s on me. I should have called the timeout."

 

"We got lucky, [Beal] stepping on the line," Tatum admitted.

The shots Tatum made were also frustrating for the Wizards, despite the fact he's an NBA All-Star starter this season and one the best scorers in the league. They felt more could have been done to impede his path to the rim.

On the last one, he spun around Beal just inside the three-point line before adjusting mid-air on a contest by Rui Hachimura to finish through contact. 

"We gave Tatum three layups at the end of the game. I’m pissed off, man," Beal said. 

"We kind of just gave him layup after layup. He made a tough shot towards the end," Russell Westbrook said.

Even though Tatum got the shot to fall with 4.7 seconds left, the Wizards had a chance to win it. Westbrook threw the inbound pass to Beal who came off a screen and caught it near the sideline. He was immediately trapped by Tatum and Semi Ojeleye. Beal pivoted back and forth, but time was running out. He lofted a high-arcing attempt that rolled off the rim.

"The last play, we knew the ball was going to him. I wanted to guard him," Tatum said. "We did a great job of helping, getting that trap. He’s the leading scorer in the NBA."

The Celtics had lost three of four and eight of 12 going into Sunday's matchup. The Wizards, meanwhile, had won seven of eight.

But it was the Wizards that didn't execute during crunch time. They took a tough loss that may be harder to get over than most.

"We should have won that game, man," Beal said.