Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Thomas lobbies for calls with Celtics-Wizards series tied

Isaac Mcdaniel | 12 May, 2017, 04:50

Behind an opportunistic defense and a fastbreak offense led by John Wall, the Wizards went on a 26-0 run early in the second half that ended any doubt about the outcome as they beat the Boston Celtics 121-102 to even their Eastern Conference semifinal. Seeming to have learned from their previous mistakes against the Bulls, the Celtics looked poised to extend their six-game playoff win streak against the Wizards.

That blowout victory in Game 3 will have given the Wizards renewed confidence, and if they can maintain that positive vibe tonight then things could effectively move to a best of three series through Games 5 to 7.

Thomas finished with 19 points for the Celtics, but he scored 15 on 5-of-5 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc in the opening 13:05. If they keep handing the Wizards the ball, they'll just keep going on runs and put games away.

The Wizards would go on a 26-0 run capped off by an Otto Porter Jr. layup to take a commanding 74-53 lead with five minutes left in the quarter.

According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Washington is favored in today's game, as the Wizards are getting odds of -4.5 points against the Celtics. "We can't have that", said Wizards coach Scott Brooks. "We just have to bring the same defensive intensity that we had the two games here". "We were just having fun". In Game 3, they managed to force 10 turnovers in the first half alone, with six coming through Marcus Smart.

If they are going to get back to winning ways again tonight, then the Celtics must not allow the Wizards to run rampant for such extended spells as they allowed in Game 3. They went on a 26-0 run and we can't have that on the road. "Their attack in transition killed us".

"It's on us to let this sink in and understand we gotta come back better, individual and team-wise", DeRozan said. Wall continued warming up has he hit a pair of field goals to help close the Wizards within three, 42-39, as the only basket in the 11-2 Wizards run was a Bradley dunk.

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"They played harder than us, and things were going their way", said Boston's Terry Rozier.

"It's a must-win for us in Boston", Porter said. "We're the better team and we feel like we've been the better team". So we've got to do a way better job of that.

Forward Markieff Morris didn't even consider Washington's Game 3 win against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night terribly physical despite eight technical fouls and three ejections. He wants more foul calls as the series continues. The Celtics are not, especially fast, athletic or, for that matter, skilled, which is not say that they lack those qualities entirely.

John Wall added 27 points and 12 assists for Washington. He said he knew he had to be aggressive, and Brooks was never anxious about the All-Star guard losing his confidence or passing up good looks.

The first quarter of Game 4 could dictate where this game eventually ends up.

Unlike the first two games, Washington wouldn't look back and held on to their 20-point lead for the rest of the game. To avenge Kelly Oubre Jr., who was suspended for charging into Boston's Kelly Olynyk in Game 3, the crowd lustily booed Olynyk every time he touched the ball. Fans chanted "Kelly Oubre!" on a few occasions as Olynyk finished 5 of 9 for 14 points. They may not have a night like they did tonight where they forced nine turnovers in the third quarter that led to 21 points.

So when the Wizards jumped out to an 8-0 lead, it appeared as if that trend would hold true for a fourth straight game. Korver's career high for points in a quarter is 17. 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 National Basketball Association history ahead of Michael Jordan's eight.

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