In current losses to the Bulls and Cavaliers, the Celtics sizzled in stretches within the first half however watched sizable leads disappear.
In opposition to the Wizards on Sunday, in a convincing 112-94 win, they constructed a commanding cushion and by no means relented. Not each offensive possession was pristine, and so they had some lulls alongside the way in which, however the defensive depth by no means wavered.
The Celtics (4-2) resembled the defensive juggernaut they have been the majority of final season.
“We wished to come back out right here tonight and make a giant emphasis on that finish,” Marcus Sensible stated.
After permitting 120 and 132 factors the final two video games, this was a welcome sight for a group that prides itself on that finish of the ground. Washington (3-3) shot simply 38.8 p.c from the ground and 21.9 p.c from 3-point vary.
Jaylen Brown (24), Jayson Tatum (23) and Malcolm Brogdon (23) led the way in which offensively, because the Celtics completed 44.7 p.c from 3 themselves on 47 makes an attempt.
“I really like 3-pointers,” head coach Joe Mazzulla stated. “I like math.”
Brown erupted for 16 factors within the first quarter alone, outscoring the Wizards himself because the Celtics constructed a commanding 34-15 edge. Tatum added 11, hitting two 3-pointers within the first minute to set the tone early.
No Celtic aside from Brown and Tatum tried a shot till Sensible did so with 4:06 left within the quarter. The Wizards knew what was coming, however they couldn’t cease it.
First Celtics shot taken by somebody aside from Tatum or Brown?
Marcus Sensible with 4:06 left within the first.
Tatum and Brown took the primary 12 pictures, and scored the primary 23 Boston factors. https://t.co/2VnKtRph7B
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) October 30, 2022
Sensible was his traditional pesky self on protection, Luke Kornet gave the Celtics high quality minutes and Grant Williams seemed sharp after lacking a sport attributable to a suspension.
The Celtics have been firmly in entrance at that time, however very similar to they did in opposition to the Bulls, they reverted to some unhealthy habits within the second quarter. The Wizards outscored them, 32-24, slicing Boston’s halftime result in 58-47.
After a scorching begin, the Celtics performed sloppy basketball within the second interval and let Washington cling round. They did, nonetheless, maintain Bradley Beal scoreless within the half. In addition they restricted a Wizards group that entered with the NBA’s finest field-goal share to simply 36.5 p.c taking pictures.
“We did a terrific job tonight of, when the pictures weren’t falling, persevering with to compete defensively,” Mazzulla stated. “I assumed that was nice.”
Either side began the second half chilly, however Al Horford and Derrick White drained back-to-back 3’s to increase the Celtics’ result in 72-56 with 5:49 left within the third.
Beal lastly scored his first factors with 2:29 left within the quarter, however Brogdon and Sam Hauser helped the Celtics push the margin to 87-68 heading to the fourth. Brogdon’s methodical, regular play, specifically, was essential all through the evening. He gave the Celtics precisely what they wanted each time he entered the sport.
“I’m making an attempt to determine what the movement is, what we’re lacking and what I can present,” Brogdon stated.
The lead by no means ballooned and it by no means shrunk, because the Celtics comfortably took care of enterprise.
This win didn’t carry fairly as a lot weight as season-opening triumphs over the 76ers and Warmth, but it surely was important due to what preceded it. The Celtics hope the defensive habits they constructed Sunday will assist in rematches in opposition to the Cavaliers and Bulls this week.
“Our guys are all the time going to play exhausting,” Mazzulla stated. “We simply should proceed to execute and be detailed.”