Celtics can't finish the job
BOSTON - The Washington Wizards erased an 18-point first-half deficit and rallied again in the fourth quarter to defeat the Boston Celtics, 106-99, on Saturday.
Guard John Wall and forward Trevor Ariza powered a 16-2 run over 4:45 down the stretch that gave the Wizards their third straight victory, all on the road, and ended their seven-game losing streak against Boston.
The Wizards (13-12) held the Celtics without a field goal for almost the final 6:14, as guard Avery Bradley's 3-pointer with 35 seconds left and a running hook by forward Jared Sullinger with 12.7 seconds remaining left Boston's only baskets down the stretch.
Wall, who finished with 20 points and nine assists, and Ariza, who had a game-high 27 points to go with eight rebounds, both scored five points and had an assist in the big finish.
The Celtics lost their second straight game at home, blowing double-digit first-half leads in both, and fell to 12-16 but remained atop the dreadful Atlantic Division.
Bradley, who kept the Celtics in the game as the Wizards charged back late in the third quarter, led Boston with 26 points, while Sullinger had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and forward Brandon Bass added 11 points and 11 boards.
Bradley scored 12 points in three minutes and 14 straight Boston points bridging the third and fourth quarters, helping the Celtics maintain their lead.
Washington tied the game for the first time with 41.5 seconds left in the third, but the Celtics went on an 18-10 run to lead by eight.
Wednesday night against the Pistons, the Celtics ran out to a 21-point lead during the first half, before losing.