By MyFM's Jake Archer - The Celtics pulled out a much-needed 110-104 win over their bitter rival, the Washington Wizards, last night in overtime. It was trade deadline day, which is usually a tension filled day around any team, but the Celtics had pretty much stood pat with the exception of officially signing big man Greg Monroe. In most cases with a contender, standing pat seems like a bad move but with this Celtics team I'm all for it. Now it was time for the group to turn their attention to moving forward with the rest of the season, starting with a game in Washington D.C.
The two teams went back and forth all night until they were tied at 98 and heading to overtime. Boston had held a 10-point fourth quarter lead which they blew and disaster looked like it was about to strike for the C's. The Wizards took a three point lead late, but Kyrie Irving drew Markieff Morris into fouling him on a 3-point attempt. Iriving would go to the line and sink all three shots to tie the score with 9.8 seconds left in regulation. He was 9 for 10 from the charity stripe on the night.
In overtime, Irving continued his takeover of the game before getting Jaylen Brown involved on a layup to take the lead at 105-103. Brown hit a baseline three quickly after to cushion the lead and the Wizards couldn't climb back into the game, missing their last five shot attempts. Afterwards, multiple Washington players would blame the officiating for the loss, which is the true mark of a team going nowhere. Star shooting guard Bradley Beal who shot just 7 of 27 and took only one foul shot said "It's crazy because I feel like I'm being just as aggressive as everybody else out there. My teammates are doing the same. Sometimes we don't get rewarded."
Morris, the brother of Celtics big man Marcus, complained about the foul called on him to send Irving to the line late. "Nowhere near a foul," Morris told reporters postgame. "(The referee) was behind me. I don't know how he could see me swiping down on the ball and me hitting his arm. If I hit his arm, there's no way he would get the shot up."
The Celtics weren't worried about any of that though, they just focused on bouncing back from a tough loss in Toronto. Kyrie scored 12 of Boston's last 17 points in the game and finished with 28, five rebounds, six assists, one block and one steal. Brown scored 18 while grabbing four boards, three assists, one block and one steal. Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier all scored in double digits as well. Greg Monroe got quite a bit of run in his first game with Boston and he dropped five points while securing six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Washington was playing without star point guard John Wall but they had Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tomas Satoransky all in double figures. They had won their first five without Wall but have now dropped two straight and sit in fifth place in the East at 31-24. The Celtics have won six of their last seven and remain in sole possession of first place in the East. This win also evens up the season series between the rivals at one game apiece.
Boston will host the Indiana Pacers tonight and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon.