Paul Pierce poured in 27 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with under three minutes left as the Celtics overcame blowing a 16-point lead to the Wizards to record their first win of the season, 89-86, Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington. Rajon Rondo added 12 points and 12 assists, Kevin Garnett chipped in 15 points and Jeff Green had 11 points off the bench for the Celtics who improve to 1-2.
Garnett forced a key turnover on Kevin Seraphin with 28.2 seconds left as Washington blew a chance to take the lead. Martell Webster missed a desperate shot from the corner with 1.5 seconds remaining as the Celtics escaped with the win. Kevin Garnett missed a jumper with 4.5 seconds left that gave the Wizards the last shot of the game. Jason Terry hit a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left to seal the victory.
After a lethargic effort on Friday night in the home opener, Doc Rivers changed the starting lineup on Saturday night and it paid off immediately. Rivers replaced Brandon Bass with Jared Sullinger in the lineup and the Celtics raced out to leads of 17-2 and 26-10 and built a 26-12 advantage after one quarter.
The Wizards, who are without the injured John Wall, got back into the game with their second unit, as Washington went on a 17-8 run to open the second quarter. Led by Kevin Seraphin and Jordan Crawford, Washington's bench outscored the Celtics, 21-6, to climb back in the game. The Celtics watched as their 16-point lead was cut down to seven at the half, as they took a 49-42 lead to the locker room.
The Celtics went back to their starting lineup to open the third, building their lead back up to 13, 67-54. But then Garnett went out with 5:44 left in the third. The Wizards, led by Seraphin, went on a 11-2 run to close the gap. The Celtics took a 71-67 lead into the fourth quarter.
With the lead down the three, 73-70, with 11 minutes left, the Celtics went on a 7-0 run to open up a 10-point lead. But the Wizards would not go away, as they went on a 9-2 spurt, capped off by a Cartier Martin steal of a sloppy cross-court pass from Rondo and a layup with 4:52 left. Rondo's redirect of a rebound with his right hand fell in the basket with four minutes left, pushing the lead back up to five but Jannero Pargo's three with 3:31 left tied the game, 84-84. Seraphin drained a jumper with 2:51 left to give Washington its first lead.
Pierce answered with a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:35 left to put Boston back up for good, 87-86. The Celtics won despite being outrebounded, 46-35, and having their bench outscored by the Washington reserves, 62-29.
Rondo finished with 12 assists, extending his streak of double-digit assists to 27 games, matching John Stockton for the third longest in NBA history. The Celtics are off until Wednesday, when they finish the home-and-home series with Wizards at the Garden. For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics and the Green Street blog.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Bill Parcells' Patriots Hall of Fame candidacy.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Christopher Price discuss Logan Mankins' breakdown of the offensive line and how it will look without Dante Scarnecchia. They also discussed Mankins' rebuttal to Brandon Spikes.
Tom Curran calls the show to discuss the Vince Wilfork contract situation. After texting with Vince this morning, Curran says that Vince's camp is possibly trying to put the "genie back in the lamp" and that the possibility of the Pro Bowl DT returning to the team has improved.
We wrap up the Celtics season by speaking with Celtics president Danny Ainge about this past season and the team's future.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joins Mut and Merloni to discuss and reflect on the Boston Marathon Bombings a year later.
Jackie MacMullan talks some Celtics with Mut and Merloni as the season is winding down and the team is positioned to have a high draft pick.
Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Red Sox catcher, David Ross, who had the go-ahead RBI tonight as the Red Sox beat the White Sox behind a brilliant pitching performance from Jon Lester.
We discuss the Red Sox early season woes with manager John Farrell, as well as his views and faith in MLB's new instant replay system, and the continuity in the Sox outfield.
We preview Red Wings-Bruins with the great Jack Edwards of NESN.
Shawn Thornton joined the show to preview the upcoming series against the Red Wings.
Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy joined the show to discuss the state of the Sox and MLB.
Jeff Bauman joined the show to discuss his recovery over the past year.
The guys opened the show by discussing the Sox 14th inning win over the White Sox.
Ty Law joins Mut and Christian Fauria to discuss being a finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame, the way the game is officiated now, and Darrelle Revis.
Christian Fauria tells us the percentage of Americans that sleep naked and those that sleep with their socks on.
DJ Bean joins Mut and Christian Fauria from the Garden to report the latest news regarding the Bruins before they get set to take on the Red Wings in Game 1.
We preview Red Wings-Bruins with the great Jack Edwards of NESN.
We tackle four topics that relate around the (merciful) end of the Celtics 2014 season.
Nifty jumps on the Planet for an hour.
Lou Merloni did play-by-play with Joe Castiglione today and then joined The Planet Mikey Show to talk about what went wrong, and a few things that went right as the Red Sox started their campaign to defend their World Series title.
WEEI.com's Chris Price joins John Ryder and Chris Villani on Planet Mikey to discuss the signing of Revis Island
The Red Sox' High-A minor league team in Salem recently had a 16-game winning streak that spanned two seasons. So what? From the standpoint of making prospects better and fostering player development, does that matter? Salem manager Carlos Febles (who managed Salem for the end of their winning streak, but who was also in charge of a 50-87 Single-A Greenville team in 2013) and Salem radio play-by-play man Evan Lepler discuss -- while also touching on a number of prospects in search of the next Earl Weaver and Vinegar Bend Mizell.
Scott and Ben recap WrestleMania 30 and talk about the death of the Ultimate Warrior.
Buster Olney joined Mut and Merloni to discuss the Lester contract offer and the trickle-down effect in the clubhouse, the defense of Xander Bogaerts, and the slow startMore from this show
Dale, Michael and Steve Lyons reflect back on the event last year, and the good that has taken place since then as Boston came together.More from this show