Washington Wizards: 3 takeaways from 116-107 loss to the Boston Celtics

Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Another big night from Bradley Beal isn’t enough for the Washington Wizards (again). This is turning into more than a slow start.

Moments before the opening tip-off, Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum looked at one another, smiled, shared a handshake, and hugged it out. Both hailing from St. Louis, Beal and Tatum share a unique bond and love for their hometown, which has helped them grow extremely close as they’ve both emerged on the NBA scene. However, when the opening whistle blew, and the game began, friendships were put aside, and an intense duel between two of the league’s top scorers bgean. Beal, who was coming off of a career-high 60-point outing against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, continued his hot-streak in Friday’s contest, scoring 41 points on 16/29 shooting. Tatum responded to Beal’s 41-point night with a big outing of his own, finishing with 32 points as the Celtics defeated the Wizards, 116-107.

After trailing by almost 30 points in the third quarter in Boston, the Washington Wizards cut the deficit to single digits with under 10 minutes remaining in the contest. Despite an impressive comeback attempt and another masterpiece by Bradley Beal, the Wizards fell short. Although we got to watch another amazing episode of ‘The Bradley Beal Show,’ we also watched another loss. Here’s what we learned from Friday night’s defeat to Boston.

Takeaway #3: Another Comeback Falls Just Short

Friday night’s loss to Boston was eerily reminiscent of Wednesday’s defeat against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Wizards went down big early, at one point trailing by 28 points in the third quarter, before attempting another massive comeback effort that ran out of gas just as the game tightened to within four points in the fourth quarter. While both comeback efforts were admirable and showed this Wizards squad’s heart,  both games ended in L’s. Digging themselves into such a deep hole early will spell doom for this team in most NBA contests, no matter how hard they try to claw back at the last second. As Beal has said this season, they can’t just “flip on a switch.”

While the intensity, particularly on the defensive end, is much more prevalent when the team is down 20+ points, it is incumbent upon Washington to not start games in such a sluggish, lackadaisical fashion. They need to keep that same energy we see when they’re down 20 for the entire game. While the Wizards are now 2-7 on the season, all seven of Washington’s losses have been by 10 points or fewer. If Washington can cease to fall into such deep holes, the likelihood of victory will skyrocket.