NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)
Washington Wizards (11-13) at Boston Celtics (12-15), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Wizards will try to extend their winning streak Saturday afternoon when they visit TD Bank Garden to face the Boston Celtics.
The Wiz have won two in a row, a sweep through New York. Washington toppled the New York Knicks on Monday, then knocked off the Brooklyn Nets, 113-107 on Wednesday.
In Madison Square Garden, the Wiz were the beneficiaries of some bizarre late- game antics from the Knicks. Bradley Beal cruised into the lane for an open layup, then, with 5.9 seconds left, the Knicks didn't call timeout and Carmelo Anthony forced up an ugly 3-pointer.
At the Barclays Center, Washington never trailed after grabbing a 41-40 lead in the second quarter. Seven Wizards players tallied double-figure scoring games.
"I thought it was one of our better overall games," Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said, despite seeing his team allow the Nets to shoot almost 53 percent from the field.
John Wall led the way with 21 points, followed by 17 from Nene who returned from an Achilles injury. Beal and Trevor Ariza both finished with 15 points and Martell Webster managed 13. Kevin Seraphin and Marcin Gortat had 10 apiece, while Gortat pulled down 10 rebounds and Trevor Booker grabbed 13 boards.
The Celtics saw a two-game winning streak halted on Wednesday with an ugly 107-106 loss to the Detroit Pistons. What made the loss ugly was that the C's led by as many as 21 in the first half and poured in 42 points in the first quarter.
"They outplayed us for 36 minutes out of 48," said Boston head coach Brad Stevens. "We outplayed them for 12."
The Celtics had a chance to win the game. Jeff Green was guarded closely by Josh Smith after an inbounds pass with 5.0 ticks on the clock and Green missed a driving layup at the buzzer.
"The bottom line is to try to get it to a guy you think can make a play," said Stevens. "We've all seen (Green) make those plays time and again so I don't have a problem with the shot we got."
Seven Boston players scored in double figures, led by 19 from Jared Sullinger. Jordan Crawford scored 17, followed by 14 from Avery Bradley and 13 from Green.
Brandon Bass managed 11 and Kris Humphries and Courtney Lee had 10 apiece.
Saturday's tilt ends a five-game homestand, which has seen the Celtics go 2-2. The Wizards still have to go to Minnesota on their current road trip, but that won't be until after Christmas.
The Celtics have won seven in a row against Washington, but only six straight and nine of 10 against the Wiz in Boston.
12/21 10:54:14 ET