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WEEI » This Just In » C's blow another big first-half lead, lose
Sat, 12/21/2013 - 4:22pm  

C's blow another big first-half lead, lose

When Jeff Green drove to the basket and converted a layup with just over six minutes remaining, it appeared that the Celtics (12-16) were prepared to coast to victory against the visiting Wizards (12-13). Green and Boston led 92-84, and Washington did to earn a lead.

But less than four minutes later a shocked TD Garden watched the Wizards’ Trevor Ariza drill a three-pointer to put Washington ahead by five points, in the team’s 106-99 comeback win against Boston. The Wizards outscored Boston over the final six minutes, six seconds.

Ariza led the way with 27 points and knocked down five 3-pointers, while speedy guard John Wall added 20 points.

The CelticsAvery Bradley accounted for a team-high 26 points, and forwards Jared Sullinger (22 points, 11 rebounds) and Brandon Bass (11 points, 11 rebounds) each went for double-doubles.


Closing time: Despite leading almost the entire game, the Celtics were unable to close out Washington due in large part to poor shooting and sloppy handling of the basketball. At the 6:13 mark of the fourth quarter, Boston held a commanding 92-84 lead after a Jeff Green layup. But the C’s promptly missed their next shots and turned over the ball times to spark the Wizards’ run to end the game.

Bench blues: For the second straight game, all five Boston starters reached double-digits in points. But, unlike in the Celtics’ recent 107-106 loss the Pistons, the bench did not support the starting cast. Only three C’s came off the bench to score, with Kris Humphries leading the way with eight points. The reserves combined to score 14 points, compared to the 32 in Boston’s last game.

Ariza arrives: With so much attention placed on limiting the production of Beal and Wall, Boston seemingly forgot about the team’s third leading scorer, Trevor Ariza. The veteran scored a game-high 27 points, and knocked down a vital 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter, one of five threes for the small forward. Ariza also snagged seven rebounds


Hot start: For the fifth straight game, Boston charged out to a lead in the first quarter as forward Jared Sullinger and point guard Jordan Crawford anchored the Celtics‘ 30-14 advantage. Sullinger tossed in 10 points and four rebounds, while Crawford played the role of facilitator and scorer, chipping in seven points and four assists. The C’s shot a scorching 60 percent from the field, while forcing the Wizards into 25 percent shooting from the field. In Boston’s last five first quarters, the team has outscored its opponents by a combined 49 points.

Unconscious Avery: The Celtics received a superb performance from guard Avery Bradley. He led the team in scoring with 23 points, and experienced a stretch that began in the third quarter and extended into the beginning of the fourth quarter where he simply could not miss. From the 4:01 mark of the third quarter to the mark of the fourth quarter Bradley scored 18 points, and shot 9-for-10 from the field.  Eight of his 10 baskets were mid-range jump shots. 

Sully: The 6-foot-9 forward continued to impress as of late, as he amassed a team (game)-high points. Sullinger’s outburst marked the fourth straight game that he led the team in scoring. He collected his point in a variety of ways: banging with bigs such as Marcin Gortat and Nene right under the rim; displaying his mid-range game and even three-point prowess; and luring the behemoths outside of the paint, just to blow by them off the dribble. Sullinger’s scoring came at an efficient rate, as he finished from the field and also hauled down rebounds.



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