Wizards use 26-0 run to rout Celtics in Game 4, tie series

Wizards use 26-0 run to rout Celtics in Game 4, tie series

WASHINGTON — It wasn’t enough for the Washington Wizards to force turnover after another and make baskets every time down the floor to take a lead over the Boston Celtics.

They wanted to blow them out.

The Wizards did just that in a 121-102 rout in Game 5 on Sunday night thanks to a 26-0 third-quarter run that featured big-time contributions from John Wall, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter.

That six-minute stretch busted the game open and Washington tied the second-round series at two games apiece. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Boston.

“We’re capable of those type of runs every game,” said Morris, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. “Keep pressing them, go up 50 if we can. That’s the mindset I felt like all of us had.”

Washington never led by 50, but after trailing 53-48 early in the third it was 74-53 by the time Porter made a layup with 5 minutes left in the quarter. Wall had seven of his 27 points and three of his 12 assists during the run as the Celtics committed eight turnovers — including back-to-back shot-clock violations — and went 0 for 5.

Coach Scott Brooks called it the Wizards’ best stretch this season, crediting defence for making it all happen.

“It is our defence,” said Beal, who had a game-high 29 points. “That’s why we’re able to get out in transition and get open shots, get open layups. We were just having fun.”

It wasn’t so fun for the Celtics, who couldn’t get Isaiah Thomas going after he opened with five consecutive 3-pointers and 17 points in the first 15 minutes and finished with 19. Thomas was mad that referees allowed the Wizards to get away with holding and grabbing him but acknowledged the 26-0 run — not the officiating — decided the game.

From Boston’s perspective it wasn’t pretty, even as coach Brad Stevens credited the Wizards, who have 26-0, 22-0 and 16-0 runs in this series.

“If you turn the ball over against these guys, you’d prefer to drop kick it into the stands so that at least you can set your defence,” Stevens said. “Their attack in transition killed us.”

Beal, who was 11 of 16 from the floor, said the conversation at halftime revolved around knowing the defence wasn’t up to Washington’s standards.

“Were able to force a lot of turnovers,” Beal said. “We’re one of the best teams in the league at converting off turnovers.”

Thanks to 34 points off turnovers, the series is even with the Cleveland Cavaliers waiting in the Eastern Conference final after finishing off a sweep of the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Being a shot away from splitting in Boston gives the Wizards confidence they can win there.

“We feel like we’re in control,” Wall said. “We feel like we can win there, we know we can. We’ve just got to do a better job of taking those leads we get and just playing smart basketball down the stretch.”

TICKED OFF THOMAS

Thomas, who missed five of his final six shots, was ticked off that he didn’t attempt a single free throw despite taking a lot of contact . He wants more foul calls as the series continues.

“It’s got to be called differently,” Thomas said. “I can’t be allowed to be held and grabbed every pin-down, every screen and I don’t even shoot one free throw.”

WALL STALL, STAR

Wall missed his first nine shots from the floor and made eight of his final 14. He said he knew he had to be aggressive, and Brooks was never worried about the All-Star guard losing his confidence or passing up good looks.

“He focuses on the next play, he made a big 3 and it kind of got him going and our defensive activity got us going,” Brooks said. “He ended up having a really, really great game of leading our team defensively, offensively.”

TIP-INS

Celtics: It’s the first time in Thomas’ playoff career that he has fallen short of 20 points in consecutive games. … Kelly Olynyk was booed every time he touched the ball after his illegal screen preceded Kelly Oubre Jr.’s charge and shove in Game 3 that got him suspended. Fans chanted “Kelly Oubre!” on a few occasions as Olynyk finished 5 of 9 for 14 points. … Back in the starting lineup, Amir Johnson had the first five points of the third quarter for Boston before the Wizards’ run.

Wizards: Improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs. … Had 21 points off turnovers in the third quarter alone. … Porter had 18 points. … Wall has 20-plus points and seven-plus assists in 10 consecutive playoff games, the most in a single post-season in NBA history ahead of Michael Jordan’s eight.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Death-penalty decision delayed for alleged cold-case killer

William Talbott is charged here in the 1987 slaying of a young Victoria-area couple

Group pushing to preserve Saanich Hydro land as park

Neighbours petitioning to buy surplus land on Kings Road

View Royal Park sign taken down after glitch redirects to pornographic website

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Victoria General Hospital reopens operating rooms ahead of schedule after flood damage

Four delivery and four operating rooms were affected by a broken water valve

Emergency crews responding to incident in Goldstream Provincial Park

Delays in both directions on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langford

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Saanich balances need for sewer with rural protection

A Saanich councillor says the public does not need to be concerned… Continue reading

FRESH IDEA: Victoria tech firm beneficiary of streamlined government system

Software developer FreshWorks awarded $1.5-million contract using new bid program

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Most Read