WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall scored 24 points, Isaiah Thomas was held to 13 and the Washington Wizards jumped out to a hot start and rode it to a 116-89 victory over the Boston Celtics in a technical foul-filled Game 3 on Thursday night to cut their series deficit to 2-1.
The Wizards used a 22-0 first-quarter run to take a 34-12 lead as Thomas and the Celtics kept missing shots and turning the ball over. The game was already a blowout in the second when Washington’s Kelly Oubre Jr. was ejected for charging and knocking over Kelly Olynyk after the Boston big man was called for an illegal screen.
There were eight technical fouls and three ejections total.
Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points apiece for Washington, which improved to 4-0 at home in the playoffs. Washington’s 119 first-quarter points is an NBA record for the first three games of a series.
Responding to what coach Scott Brooks deemed a “bad shooting night” in Game 2, Bradley Beal scored Washington’s first seven points and finished with 11.
Defensively, the Wizards found a solution to Thomas, who was held to 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting. Thomas, who had some dental work adjusted at halftime, scored seven points at the free throw line.
The teams built up quite the hatred during four regular-season meetings, and while hard fouls were part of the first two games in Boston it was nothing like Game 3. Double technicals to Ian Mahinmi and Jonas Jerebko early gave way to Oubre’s outburst as he leapt up from the floor after an illegal screen from Olynyk and bowled over the Boston big man as he was talking to an official.
Oubre could face a suspension for his outburst. But he wasn’t alone.
Pushing and shoving happened throughout, leading to a barrage of technical fouls in the fourth quarter. Stevens and Brooks each picked up technical fouls well after the outcome had been decided.
It didn’t help that things got out of hand early. After starting 16-0 in Game 1 and 16-8 in Game 2 and coughing up big leads, the Wizards extended this one thanks in part to the Celtics shooting 35.1 percent from the floor.
Washington has outscored Boston 119-70 in the first quarter.
“The Wizards have been a great starting team all year,” Stevens said before the game. “They’ve been a great home team all year.”
Washington is now 4-0 at home in the playoffs in large part because of Wall, who continued to find ways to carve through the Celtics’ defense after scoring 40 points and recording 13 assists in Game 2. Even though he shot 7 of 19, Wall got to the line enough to pad the Wizards’ lead and was serenaded with “M-V-P” chants each time he stepped up to take free throws.
Celtics: G Avery Bradley scored seven points after reporting soreness Wednesday from a hip pointer in Game 2. … Jae Crowder has scored 10-plus points in a playoff career-high four consecutive games. He finished with 14. … Gerald Green started in place of Amir Johnson after not playing in Game 2 and had eight points.
Wizards: Bogdanovic made four of the seven 3-pointers he attempted, finishing with 19 points. … C Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 16 rebounds. … Seated courtside, former player Caron Butler was treated to a highlight montage on the scoreboards and an ovation from the sellout crowd.
DOUBLE AGENT KOBE?
Thomas said he has been going over film with and getting tips from Kobe Bryant since early in the playoffs. Brooks joked that his offseason neighbor in Orange County, California, was helping stop Thomas, too.
“He’s talked to me today about how to stop him on defense,” Brooks said. “So we’ll see. We’ll see how good of a coach he is. Either he’s a really good offensive coach and a bad defensive coach or the other way around.”
Mahinmi made his playoff debut for the Wizards after missing the past nine games with a left calf strain. Mahinmi played nine minutes and made his only shot.
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