BOSTON – Celtics Coach Doc Rivers entered the postgame interview room Wednesday night, heard a member of Boston’s media relations department mention the team had Thursday off and decided being sarcastic was the best way to explain how poorly he felt his team played in victory.
“Because we executed so well we thought we’d give ’em the night off,” Rivers said after Boston’s 100-94 overtime victory against the Washington Wizards. “Well, we won the game. Right now that’s the type of team we are. We’re not playing great.”
Without the overtime play of Brandon Bass, the Celtics may not have been in a joking mood.
Bass scored five straight points in overtime, helping the Celtics pull out the win in the back end of a home-and-home series.
“We know we have guys that are capable,” said Paul Pierce, who finished with 15 points but shot just 2 of 12. “It’s just getting it together still.”
Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 14 assists, and reserve Jason Terry had 16 points. Bass finished with 11.
“Overall it’s about the win, that’s what we did,” Rondo said.
In overtime, Bass hit a tiebreaking free throw to make it 93-92, then scored on a twisting layup on the next possession. He added a breakaway dunk with 37.7 seconds left to help seal it.
The Wizards shot only 3 of 10 in overtime.
“We’ve got to learn to play down the stretch,” Washington Coach Randy Whittman said. “It’s a learning process, taking care of the ball, execution, making plays down the stretch.”
Bradley Beal, Kevin Seraphin and Martell Webster each scored 16 points for the Wizards (0-3).
“The biggest thing we have to do is just close out the game,” Beal said. “We’re there every single time. We made the comeback to take the lead but it’s just up to us to make plays down the stretch.”
Boston (2-2) beat the Wizards 89-86 in Washington on Saturday night.
Reserve Chris Singleton’s clean drive down the lane for a dunk tied it with 9.4 seconds left in regulation. Rondo then missed a jumper as the horn sounded, sending it to overtime.
Beal’s 3-pointer from the top of the key gave the Wizards an 83-82 lead with 1:08 left in regulation, and they made it 84-82 when Webster hit a free throw after Garnett was whistled for a technical.
But Garnett was fouled on Boston’s ensuing possession and hit both free throws, tying it. Pierce then stole the ball from Seraphin at midcourt and was fouled, hitting the first of two to push Boston ahead 85-84.
After Webster turned the ball over trying to drive, Rondo hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 86-84 with 27 seconds left.
Singleton nailed two free throws to make it 86-86 before Rondo hit a 20-foot jumper from the top of the key to push Boston back in front.
Boston had a 71-60 lead with just over 10 minutes to play on Pierce’s three-point play, coming on just his second basket of the game, when he was fouled on a fast-break layup. The Wizards then climbed back mostly behind Singleton, who scored six of Washington’s eight points as it narrowed the gap to 77-76 on Webster’s 3 with 5:19 left.
After Terry nailed a 3 for Boston, the Wizards scored the next four points, making it 80-80 on Seraphin’s dunk with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
The Celtics had trailed by seven in a first half that mostly featured poor shooting and sluggish play.