The Basketball Gods are making it awfully difficult for the Boston Celtics to remain intact over the last couple of weeks. The buzz in Boston is that Celtics President Of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge will evaluate his club over the next ten games or so to decide whether his players can overcome their poor start; or going into rebuild mode and start looking into making trades. Boston stopped a five game losing streak on Wednesday night as they beat the Toronto Raptors, however they lost All-Star guard Rajon Rondo in the process as Rondo sprained his right wrist in the contest. Without their starting point guard in the lineup they lost Friday night to the Phoenix Suns.
Rondo was still in street clothes on Sunday afternoon as his team took to the hardwood at the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Wizards. The Celtics would lose another key component of their squad during the first half of this game as Ray Allen had to leave the floor after playing only 11 minutes after he twisted his left ankle and he never returned to action. With their starting back-court out of commission, the club knew someone would have to step it up in order for them to get a much-needed victory. All-Star forward Paul Pierce took on the job as he racked up a double-double including a season high 34 points and the Celts beat the Wizards 100-94.
After Allen was injured Boston went with a big lineup as Mickael Pietrus and Brandon Bass both saw plenty of time on the floor. There were many times when Avery Bradley was the only guard on the hardwood for his club and although the second-year guard did not produce a lot of offense he did come up with 7 assists and 6 rebounds for the day. John Wall led the way for the Wizards as he notched a double-double including 27 points in the loss.
This was a game filled with ebbs and flows for both teams. Neither side looked particularly impressive offensively in the opening period. Wall drove the lane putting the ball in the cylinder with 41 seconds remaining and the Wizards would hold a razor-thin 21-20 lead at the conclusion of the quarter. Both teams battled through most of the second however the Celtics pulled away in the closing moments of the period. Pietrus knocked downa 23 foot trey with 22 seconds left in the quarter and as the game reached the half Boston held the advantage with the score 49-40.
After falling behind early in the third quarter Washington was able to close the gap down the stretch. Jordan Crawford drained a 25 foot trey with 45 seconds to play and the Celtics lead was down to 73-69 entering the fourth. With 6:05 left in the contest Nick Young slammed the rock through the hole giving the Wizards an 83-82 lead. The two teams exchanged the lead over the next few possessions but Boston would have the momentum on their side and outscored their opponents 5-2 in the closing seconds to secure the win.
Pierce scored 34 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds and 3 steals while Kevin Garnett had 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Pietrus came off the bench with 14 points while Bass added 13 points in the victory.
Wall knocked down 27 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, a block and a steal while Nick Young scored 19 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Center JaVale McGee added 13 points while Crawford came off the bench with 12 points in the loss. Boston improves to 6-9 and will host Orlando on Monday while Washington now has a record of 2-14 and head to Philadelphia to take on the Sixers on Monday.