The Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 125-124 in double overtime on Wednesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...
Crazy game: Nothing has come easy for the Washington Wizards in recent weeks and Wednesday night was no exception. It took a 20-point comeback, but the Wizards snatched a win away from the Celtics in double overtime.
Boston was missing nearly their entire regular rotation including Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, yet they built a sizable first half lead and nearly held off the Wizards. Washington had other ideas and earned a much-needed victory after losing five of their previous seven.
Jodie Meeks of all people hit the big shot to force the first extra period. Meeks has had a frustrating season with his shot not falling for months to begin the year. It was so bad he was looking for a trade back in February.
On Wednesday, he had his best moment of the season. Otto Porter (18 points, 11 rebounds) drove to the rim and found Meeks for a corner three.
Meeks was understandably pumped after it went in:
Jodie Meeks hits the wide-open 3-pointer and we've got OT in Boston.pic.twitter.com/ei4aNpvibQ— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) March 15, 2018
The Wizards snapped a two game losing streak and moved to 39-30 on the season with 13 games left on the schedule. They are 13-8 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury.
Beal took off: The tide was already turning for the Wizards late in the first half. In the third quarter, Bradley Beal added some gasoline to the fire.
Beal erupted for 16 points in the frame on 10 shots. He found his groove and once he did there wasn't much Boston could to do contain him.
Beal feasted on mismatches off screens, at one point zipping past Aron Baynes for an up-and-under layup. On another play he turned Greg Monroe around on a stepback and dropped in a swish from about 20 feet out.
Beal was the only All-Star on the court between the teams and he sure looked like it at times. He finished with a game-high 34 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, two steals and a block. It was a masterpiece performance.
The only problem for Beal was his four turnovers. Giveaways have been an issue for him at times recently, but in his defense he is the primary focus of opposing defenses. They are trying to force the ball out of his hands and turnovers have often been the result.
Horrible start: The Wizards dug themselves quite the hole in this one. Despite facing a Celtics team missing nearly their entire rotation, the Wizards came out sluggish and found themselves down 19-6 just a few minutes in. They trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half.
Again it was points in the paint that were an issue. The Wizards allowed 60-plus point paints in their last four games and gave up 18 in the first quarter in Boston, the same amount they allowed in the first frame against the Timberwolves the night before.
Jayson Tatum (19 points) was a big reason for that. He was blowing by the Wizards' perimeter defense and finishing well above the rim. That was all despite battling back tightness, an injury that almost kept him out of the game.
Tatum's production was expected, but there were plenty of surpriseds from the Celtics early. Monroe, for instance, had eight points (4-for-4 FG), seven rebounds, a steal and a block in 12 minutes by halftime. He ended up with 16 points and 10 boards.
It took the Wizards a while, but they woke up. By halftime they were only down seven points as Markieff Morris (20 points, seven rebounds) got hot to lead a 10-0 run.
Bench boost: The Wizards wouldn't have had a chance in this game if it weren't for their bench, who gave them a lift at times when their starters were lagging. Ian Mahinmi (14 points, 11 rebounds), Meeks (eight points), Mike Scott (nine points) and Kelly Oubre, Jr. (eight points, two steals) were the standouts.
Scott and Oubre did most of their damage in the first half. Meeks got hot in the second half. Mahinmi was great for most of the game.
Mahinmi followed up a big game of 10 points and nine rebounds against Minnesota with his strong night against the Celtics. Mahimmi's 11 rebounds were a season-high.
This was, in fact, the first double-double for Mahinmi since he signed a four-year, $64 million free agent deal with the Wizards in the summer of 2016. It was arguably his best game in a Wizards uniform.
It's also worth noting that Mahinmi didn't play at all two games ago against the Heat. He has rebounded impressively with two strong games.
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Up next: The Wizards are off the next two days before hosting the Indiana Pacers in a big game on Saturday night. That will determine the season series and therefore the playoff seeding tiebreaker between the teams. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Wizards HangTime.
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