Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A night after what their coach called a "flat game," Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics held the Washington Wizards to 1-for-14 shooting at the start, then were barely better at the end.
Jared Sullinger of the Celtics launches a shot over Washington’s Kevin Seraphin during first-half action of Saturday’s game, won by Boston 89-86.
The Associated Press
UP NEXT FOR CELTICS
WHO: Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Strong defensive stands early -- Washington's only scoring in the first 8 minutes came on Garnett's goaltending call -- and late, plus Paul Pierce's 27 points, including a key 3-pointer down the stretch, helped the Celtics beat the Wizards 89-86 on Saturday for their first victory.
Boston is 1-2. Washington dropped to 0-2 after its home opener in front of a sellout crowd of 20,308 that occasionally included folks chanting "Let's go, Celtics!" Washington is still without two starters: point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, and center Nene.
Bradley Beal, the No. 3 overall pick this year, missed all five of his shots and scored two points for the Wizards. Backup Jordan Crawford led the hosts with 21 points.
Another reserve, Kevin Seraphin, played after being sidelined by a right calf injury for the Wizards' season opener and made his first seven shots, finishing with 19 points. But Seraphin also threw the ball away with Washington down one point and 28 seconds left.
Cartier Martin scored five consecutive points during a 16-4 run that put Washington ahead 86-84 on Seraphin's turnaround 12-footer with a little under 3 minutes remaining.
"You don't want to give teams any life," Pierce said. "Today we gave them life and they had a shot at us."
But with thousands in the stands asking for "De-fense! De-fense!" Pierce made a 3-pointer to give Boston back the lead with 2:30 left.
From there, neither team managed to score until Jason Terry's two free throws with 1.2 seconds left padded Boston's lead.
"Our defense put us in the situation to get where we were at," Celtics guard Rajon Rondo said. "We didn't shoot the ball well tonight. We had a lot of easy shots we missed. We can't control that, but what we can control is our effort on the defensive end and we did that tonight."
Garnett scored 15 points, and Rajon Rondo added 12 points and 12 assists.
Rondo's 19-foot jumper put Boston ahead 17-2 with a little less than 4½ minutes left in the first quarter.
A day after losing by 11 at home to Milwaukee, the Celtics led by as much as 24-8 before Washington made a game of it.
"When you lose two games in a row and you play as poorly as we played last night, you're either going to come out with great intensity or we're still going to be thinking about last night and get down 20," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. "That cushion won the game for us."
HEAT 119, NUGGETS 116: Ray Allen had a four-point play with 6.7 seconds left that put Miami ahead for good, Chris Bosh scored 40 points and the Heat held off visiting Denver.
LeBron James finished with 20 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, and Allen scored 23 for the Heat, who escaped when Danilo Gallinari's 3-point try with 2 seconds left bounced off the rim.
NETS 107, RAPTORS 100: Brooklyn made a winning return to major pro sports in the first game at Barclays Center.
After a 55-year wait that was extended a couple extra days by Superstorm Sandy, the borough finally has a team of its own again, and the Nets think it's going to be a good one.
Brook Lopez scored 27 points, and Deron Williams added 19 points and nine assists for the Nets. C.J. Watson finished with 15 points and Joe Johnson had 14.
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