Washington Wizards had the opportunity to set themselves up for a Game-1 victory over the Boston Celtics, but squandered the big lead.
Up 16 to nothing, the Washington Wizards had all the momentum on their side – seemingly enough to put the Boston Celtics away in Game-1.
But instead of putting their foot on the gas and ending the Celtics’ distant hopes for a comeback, the Wizards began coughing the ball up. Within minutes, the Celtics showed signs of life and started to find a rhythm from deep.
Boston got themselves within three points of Washington after being down by double-digits and pounced on the chance of gaining a lead of their own.
If the Wizards were playing at home, they might’ve been able to get away with squandering such a big lead. But on the road, it’s almost impossible to bounce back from the mental lapses that occurred, especially with the crowd consistently getting more into the game throughout the course of 48 minutes.
Both teams went back and forth, but it was clear the Celtics found their stroke and wouldn’t be missing any big shots in the fourth quarter.
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Washington succumbed to the pressure and ruined the opportunity to steal the first game in Boston, 123-111.
While the Celtics’ run was sparked by the Wizards’ carelessness, Isaiah Thomas, once again, gave the team energy on the offensive side of the ball.
Thomas has a knack or scoring when his team is deprived of offense, totaling 33 points.
His teammates appeared motivated by Thomas’ desire to win (and really, his effort for being there after the tragedy he endured earlier) and started to drill shots from deep.
Jae Crowder scored 24 points, hitting 6 of his 8 threes. The team, as a unit, made 19 of their 39 threes – nearly 49 percent of their total attempts behind the line.
Washington made 10 threes, but that’s obviously not enough to keep up with the firepower offense that’s coming from the opposite end.
John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 47 points, while Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter added 16 points apiece. Markieff Morris tweaked his ankle in the second quarter and was unavailable to play for most of the game.
Sunday’s Game-1 loss was a classic example of a team failing to take advantage of a golden opportunity. Starting a contest with 16 points while the opposing team goes scoreless is ridiculously rare, but instead of ending it, the Wizards lacked the mentality to put Boston away.
Game-2 is scheduled for Tuesday night in Boston.