The Washington Wizards lost to the Boston Celtics 110-104 in overtime on Thursday night. Here's analysis of what went down...
Narrow loss: In order to beat a team as good as the first-place Boston Celtics without John Wall in their lineup, the Washington Wizards need to play near-perfect basketball. On Thursday night, they did not play perfect basketball.
The Wizards were in it all game, all the way until the final minute of overtime, but too many unforced errors did them in. They coughed up too many turnovers, 22 of them in total, and the Celtics took advantage.
That spoiled an otherwise strong effort. The Wizards shot 46.2 percent (12-for-26) from three and dished 28 assists on 38 field goals. The Wizards missed all four of their three attempts in overtime.
The Wizards lost their second straight game and fell to 5-2 since Wall got injured. Though they again proved they can compete without him against a very good team, they didn't have enough to close the deal and were outscored 12-to-6 in the extra period.
Too many turnovers: This game could have gone very differently if the Wizards took care of the ball. The Celtics have a stingy defense and no doubt forced a good share of them, but there were also a large collection of avoidable mistakes. The Wizards had six turnovers in each of the first two quarters and another five in the third. Their 22 for the game were one off their season-high.
There were many culprits. Seven different Wizards players had two turnovers or more and four players had three apiece.
The Celtics are one of the NBA's best defenses and are uniquely good at capitalizing on turnovers with their athleticism and speed. As a result, they scored 24 points off the Wizards' miscues as Jaylen Brown (18 points) in particular feasted off them. Time and time again he blew into the open court for easy scores.
In order to beat a team as good as the Celtics, especially without Wall, they need to play smart basketball and the turnovers killed them in this one.
RELATED: CAVS TRADE D-WADE IN STUNNING DEAL
Otto was on: Few Wizards players have as tough an assignment as Otto Porter in a matchup with the Celtics because Porter goes head-to-head against one of Boston's biggest strengths. Kyrie Irving gets all the publicity, but they are uniquely talented at the wing position with second-year pro Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum. They are crazy athletic and well-coached to play within Brad Stevens' system.
Porter sized those guys up and didn't back down. Brown guarded him for much of the first half and had no chance, neither did others like Irving when they switched. Porter was on fire with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field in the first half, including 2-for-2 from three and six rebounds. Porter had 12 points after his first four field goals which is insanely efficient.
The Celtics tried new things in the second half. They put Tatum on him and collapsed with double teams when they could. Porter made the most of tight shooting windows to keep popping shots.
Porter continued filling it up with seven points in the third quarter and six in the fourth. He led the Wizards with 27 points for the game., though none of them came in overtime. Porter also had 10 rebounds and two steals. Bradley Beal (18 points) was right behind him in the scoring column. Beal also tied a career-high with nine assists.
RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS
Satoransky on Kyrie: Tomas Satoransky once again impressed on defense against one of the toughest players to guard in the NBA. Much like he did against Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder, Satoransky was able to give Irving fits at times with his length and anticipation.
Irving did, to be fair, score 28 points and shoot 9-for-19 from the field. But there were times when Satoransky really gave him problems. One one sequence in the second quarter, Satoransky stripped Irving and finished with a layup on the other end. Then, on the very next play he blocked Irving's shot out of bounds:
Tomas Satoransky > Kyrie Irving— #ALLCAPS Roommates (@HoopDistrictDC) February 9, 2018
Don't @ us. pic.twitter.com/dgtu3KOltI
Satoransky also did quite well for himself on offense. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. All in all, it was a solid showing against one of the game's brightest stars.
Up next: The Wizards are off Friday before heading out on the road again. They begin in Chicago on Saturday night with an 8 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Washington.
RELATED: KEEF MORRIS REACTS TO THOMAS TRADE