NBA News Wire

Wizards 118, Celtics 92

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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WASHINGTON — Center Marcin Gortat scored 22 points and guard John Wall had 13 points and 10 assists as the Washington Wizards clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2008 with a 118-92 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

Guard Bradley Beal had 19 points for the Wizards (39-36), who never trailed, led by 15 points in the first quarter, 57-46 at halftime and as many as 33 in the second half.

Washington shot 62.5 percent from the field, its best performance since the 2001 season. Six players score in double figures, including all five starters.

Sixth in the Eastern Conference, Washington entered the day 2 1/2 games behind the Brooklyn Nets and two games ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Forward Jared Sullinger scored 25 points and center Kelly Olynyk added 14 in the Celtics’ 11th straight road loss. Boston (23-52) has dropped six in a row and 11 of 12 overall.

Boston guard Rajon Rando scored 13 points in his return after sitting out Monday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Forward Trevor Ariza had 18 points and Trevor Booker scored 10 for the Wizards. Forward Al Harrington added 12 off the bench and his 3-pointer gave Washington its largest lead at 95-62 one minute into the fourth quarter.

The Celtics finished 3 of 24 from beyond the arc and shot 39.5 percent from the field overall. Washington made 10 of 19 3-point attempts.

After capping the 2007-08 season with a playoff appearance, the Wizards went 117-277 during the next five seasons.

Wall and coach Randy Wittman hugged on the sideline in the game’s final seconds. Wittman, who replaced Flip Saunders during the 2011-12 season, had never qualified for the playoffs as a head coach in seven seasons with three different teams.

Washington could have clinched the postseason earlier this week with a win at Charlotte on Monday or a New York Knicks loss. Instead, the Wizards blew a fourth-quarter lead before falling to the Bobcats 100-94 and the Knicks won two road games.

The Wizards handled their affairs against the Celtics, outscoring Boston 32-16 in the third quarter before the crowd of 17,770.

Gortat made 7 of 10 shots from the field for 16 points in the first half and finished 10 of 13 overall with eight rebounds.

After sinking 8 of 12 attempts in Monday’s loss, Beal made his first seven shots from the field against the Celtics.

Celtics forward Jeff Green scored 13 points but missed all six of his 3-point attempts and finished 3 of 13 overall.

NOTES: Celtics G Avery Bradley (strained right Achilles) did not play. … The season series concludes April 16 in Boston. … Wizards PF Nene (sprained left MCL knee) has yet to return to practice, though he has worked out with team trainers for multiple days, coach Randy Wittman said. Out since Feb. 23, Nene has missed 19 straight games. … Wizards G John Wall posted his second career triple-double against the Celtics on Jan. 22, but Boston F Jeff Green scored 39 points in the Celtics’ 113-111 road victory. …The Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. Washington visits the New York Knicks on Friday.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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