12/12 22:20 CST Irving scores Boston's last 12 in 130-125 OT win at Wizards
Irving scores Boston's last 12 in 130-125 OT win at Wizards
By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) --- To Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, Kyrie Irving's pair
of 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds of overtime --- the first from in front
of his team's bench; the second from straightaway, 31 feet out --- were
To the man contesting both of those key shots, Washington Wizards point guard
John Wall, they were "incredible."
To Irving himself? He was a lot more matter-of-fact, saying: "I was just trying
to win the game."
Did just that, too. Serenaded on the road by chants of "MVP!" in the closing
seconds, Irving scored Boston's last 12 points to finish with 38, and the
undermanned Celtics extended their winning streak to seven games with a 130-125
victory over the Wizards on Wednesday night.
"We've seen Kyrie do that on multiple occasions," said Marcus Smart, a guard
who spent some time at center and had 18 points and five rebounds. "But to see
it again in person --- every day we see that is something that is jaw-dropping
Marcus Morris added 27 points and nine rebounds for Boston, which played
without Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown, its No. 4-6 leading
"The hallmark of this group has been whoever's available plays and is counted
on to do what they're supposed to," Stevens said. "Not everybody had their best
night, but everybody did their jobs and kept adding value when they checked in.
They played whatever role they were asked to and gave us a chance to win."
Wall returned after missing a game with an aching left heel to pour in 34
points with 13 assists, and stayed on the court in overtime after getting his
right foot stepped on during a drive to the basket. But his seven points in OT
weren't enough to keep pace with fellow All-Star Irving.
The Wizards led 123-122 when Irving made a 3 with 38.6 seconds to go. After
Wall tied it at 125, Irving hit another shot from beyond the arc that gave
Boston the lead for good, because Beal (22 points; zero in OT) and Wall then
each missed a 3.
This sure was a close one: There were nine ties and 18 lead changes. Neither
club was ahead by more than three points over the final 10 minutes of
regulation. Up 113-110, Boston opted to foul Beal on purpose with 13 seconds
left, but that backfired, because after he made the first free throw, he missed
the second --- but grabbed the rebound and put it in for the tie.
Irving blew by Beal at the other end but missed a layup right before the
buzzer, sending the game to an extra period.
And then Irving really took over.
Celtics: Horford sat for the third consecutive game --- he's expected to miss
at least a few more because of an injured left knee --- and Brown and Hayward
were out because of illness. ... Outscored Washington 38-22 in the third
quarter. ... Daniel Theis fouled out after just 14 minutes. He had eight points
and six rebounds. ... Semi Ojeleye was 1 for 7 on 3-point attempts.
Wizards: Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 20 of their 32 bench points. ... Rebounding has
been a problem all season and this was no different. Washington was beaten
50-41 on the boards and outscored 24-8 in second-chance points.
WALL ON THE CALLS
Wall was not thrilled with the officiating, saying the Wizards kept getting
whistled for "ticky-tack" fouls, but did not get the same sort of calls when
they had the ball. "We get so many hand-check calls to put those guys on the
free throw line. Let guys make plays," he said. "I mean, then we drive to the
basket, getting fouled, and we're not getting it." Washington actually took
more foul shots, 29 to 25; the Wizards only made 21, while the Celtics were
perfect at the line. "We play just as aggressive as anybody else," Wall said.
"So I don't understand it. I don't respect it."
SMART AT 5
Smart said he hadn't played the "5'' position since high school. "That's just
what we needed tonight," he said.
Celtics: Host Atlanta on Friday.
Wizards: At Brooklyn on Friday.
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