Game 4 is Sunday evening in Washington.
Washington's Kelly Oubre Jr. was tossed out for charging and knocking over Kelly Olynyk after a hard offensive foul, each coach got a technical foul and the hatred that built up during the regular season captured the spotlight more than John Wall continuing to torment the Celtics or the Wizards finding a solution for Isaiah Thomas. "But they were that intense, they were that focused and professional, and we were not". Wall had seven of his 27 points and three of his 12 assists during the run as the Celtics committed eight turnovers - including back-to-back shot-clock violations - and went 0 for 5.
Like his comments after the first quarter, this is both broadly correct-if the Celtics had not committed six turnovers in one six-minute stretch of the third quarter, the Wizards nearly certainly would not have gone on a decisive 26-0 run that turned a close game into a blowout loss-and infused with a good coach's necessary optimism.
Tomas Satoransky filled in for the suspended Kelly Oubre while another reserve, Ian Mahinmi tripped Olynyk with 27.2 seconds left in the first quarter.
The first quarter of Game 4 could dictate where this game eventually ends up.
Not surprisingly, the National Basketball Association suspended Oubre for Game 4 because of his actions.More news: Losses for tech and materials companies send U.S. stocks lower
"We know we have the ability to win there", Wall said.
"I think they were locked into him the whole game", Boston Coach Brad Stevens said. I'm not saying that that was the right thing to do. Washington is one of the best fast break teams in the NBA, so it is extremely important to take care of the basketball on offense.
"It's got to be called differently", Thomas said.
If you want to be really basic, extra careful, you will conclude only that the Washington Wizards won two home games over the past four days to even an antagonistic series that is far from finished. He was also one of the sparks defensively in that massive third quarter, and he would finish the game with five steals. Like I said, we are the bigger guys, so we gotta control the paint. The Wizards utilized a dominant third quarter to emerge with a 121-102 triumph at the Verizon Center. Wall, Beal and Markieff Morris combined for 34 points in the period. But as the Wizards tore the game open in the second half, Thomas attempted just three shots- missing two of them - in 12 minutes of floor time. He finished 7 of 14 from the field. F Gerald Green started Game 1 and 3 with Johnson in that spot for Game 2. However, he has only played 92 minutes compared to 138 for Marcin Gortat and 150 or more for the other starters.
Over the past 38 years, as the Wizards have struggled to rise from mediocrity, you have learned to hedge. "I was just being aggressive, picking my spots and being smarter with my handle".
The Celtics' main area of improvement in Game 5 will have to be taking care of the ball. The Wizards may need to be more cautious, given the referees will be looking for that type of matter.