Celtics star Point Guard Rajon Rondo was ruled out of today’s game against the Wizards with a sprained right wrist. In the second quarter Ray Allen left the game with a jammed left ankle. Slumping and battered, the Celtics looked like a prime target for the Wizards, who have been improving their play game-by-game this week.
However Paul Pierce took the team on his shoulders with a season-high 34 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds as the Celtics continue to own the Wizards this season with a 94-100 loss.
Without Rondo, the Celtics were forced to start second-year Avery Bradley at point, and proved to be a liability going 1-6 in the field with six turnovers.
“We kept it as simple as a game plan as we could keep it- the thing is that we ran the same stuff and it gave him a chance to operate offensively,” Coach Rivers said after the game. Bradley was easily owned by Wall, McGee, and anybody else he was matched-up with.
It was quite the opposite on the Celtics side of the ball. The Wizards threw everybody at Pierce but the kitchen sink. Nothing could stop #34 from putting up 34.
John Wall led the Wizards with 27 points and Nick Young scored 19. Andray Blatche had a bounce back game after a 0-7 performance Friday night. He went 4-10 with 8 points and received much less boos from the crowd (mostly Celtics fans). When asked about Blatche, Doc Rivers remarked that the only way to get the boos to stop is to keep playing.
“Fans want to see winning basketball even if you aren’t winning.”
The Wizards are starting to get competitive enough to stay in games, now Washington just needs to find the way to close them out. Even their opponents are noticing the difference.
“They are so much better, they are so much better- you can just see it,” Rivers said. Pierce backed his coaches’ comments as well.
“I think they are playing a lot better, even though the wins don’t really show I think they are playing the right way.”