Wizards turn into thieves in double-OT thriller

BOSTON • The Washington Wizards walked away, and all they could do was hold their hands on their heads or clutch their knees.

They lacked the energy to properly acknowledge their 125-124 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory in double overtime against the Boston Celtics.

Three starters played more than 40 minutes, on the second night of a back-to-back set, no less.

They were up against a Celtics team missing Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford.

Though on Wednesday the Wizards exhausted themselves for a win, the night showed their two sides - an exasperating team that trailed by 20 points in the first half, and the exciting version that turned a night doomed for humiliation into a highlight of the season.

"It was a roller-coaster ride," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.

Added Washington guard Jodie Meeks: "It's just good to come out with a win in these types of games where you feel like you kind of stole one."

Even if the Wizards (39-30) felt like thieves in the TD Garden, they made the lasting plays to snap a two-game losing streak.

A Meeks three-pointer with two seconds left tied it for Washington at 106-106 to send the game into overtime.

Boston rookie Jayson Tatum then blew a chance to win it for the Celtics in the first extra period, the 20-year-old levelling the score at 115-115 with a two-point layup but then missing a free throw that would have sealed a win.

He again misfired on a potential game-winning three-point attempt with 3.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime.

The Celtics (46-22) remain four games adrift of the first-placed Toronto Raptors, who are on course for the top seeding in the East and home court advantage through the play-offs.

Bradley Beal led the way for the Wizards, scoring 34 points with seven rebounds and nine assists.

"Everybody was tired," said Beal who played 47 minutes. "You could see I was dog tired. But it was a test of who we were as a team."

WASHINGTON POST, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'Wizards turn into thieves in double-OT thriller'. Print Edition | Subscribe