Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dunks over Boston forward Jeff Green (8) in the second quarter at Verizon Center on Wednesday. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Wizards cruise past Celtics, clinch playoff spot
Bradley Beal went 7-of-8 from the field en route to 19 points and Trevor Ariza scored 18 for the Wizards, who shot 62.5 percent from the field.
John Wall added 13 points and 10 assists as Washington clinched its first playoff berth since 2008. Jared Sullinger scored 25 points to lead the Celtics, who fell for the sixth straight time. Kelly Olynyk scored 14 points and Rajon Rondo piled up 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Boston.
The Wizards scored on their first five and 11 of their first 12 possessions to open up a 22-8 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Celtics fought back to cut it to 29-21 at the end of the first quarter and pulled within seven points in the second before heading into the break down 57-46.
Beal scored five points during a 9-2 run to open the second half and Ariza scored eight during a 12-1 burst closing the period that extended the advantage out to 89-62.
Al Harrington hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the fourth and scored Washington's first 12 of the period as the Wizards cruised.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Boston G Avery Bradley (Achilles) missed the game and is day-to-day. ... Washington remains in the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference, two games clear of seventh-place Charlotte. ... The Wizards went 10-of-19 from beyond the arc while the Celtics struggled to 3-of-24.