Lottery-bound Celtics end their third-worst season ever with a loss
Bradley Beal led a balanced attack with 27 points as the visiting Washington Wizards clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference on the final day of the regular season with a 118-102 win over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
Trevor Booker scored 20 points and John Wall had 15 points and nine assists for the Wizards, who passed over Brooklyn in the standings and will open the playoffs on Sunday at Chicago. Marcin Gortat finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Nene had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench as Washington shot 56.8 percent from the field.
Kelly Olynyk led Boston with 24 points while Jeff Green contributed 20. Avery Bradley finished with 18 points and Brandon Bass added 16 for the Celtics, who were 7-of-30 from 3-point range.
Wall had 13 points and five assists in the first quarter alone as Washington burst out of the gate to grab a 38-24 lead. Green scored 12 points in the second and Olynyk had three baskets in an 8-0 run to start the third, pulling the Celtics within 68-64.
Wall’s basket capped a 13-2 surge that ended the third and put the Wizards up 91-75 and Nene’s hoop early in the fourth created the first 20-point margin. Boston never threatened again in losing for the 23rd time in 29 games and ending with the third-worst season (23-59) in franchise history.
Notes: G Rajon Rondo (hamstring), G Jerryd Bayless (knee), C Kris Humphries (knee) and C Jared Sullinger (ankle) all sat for Boston. ... Washington finished with identical 22-19 records at home and on the road. ... The Wizards went 2-1 against the Bulls this season, including a 102-88 win in the only meeting at Chicago.