Celtics vs. Wizards: John Wall Leads Washington To 95-94 Overtime Win Against Starless Boston

John Wall scored 24 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 95-94 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night at the Verizon Center. Boston played without stars Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo in the losing effort. Read more at SB Nation DC and our team blogs, CelticsBlog and Bullets Forever.

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Wizards 95, Celtics 94 (OT): John Wall, Washington Beat Starless Boston

Boston played 53 minutes of basketball against without Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, and yet the Celtics found themselves within one point of the Washington Wizards with five seconds left in overtime.

Yet Carlos Arroyo missed the potential game-winner with two seconds remaining, giving the Wizards a 95-94 overtime victory on Monday night at the Verizon Center.

John Wall paced the Wizards' attack, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Jordan Crawford scored 17, Andray Blatche finished with 16 points and JaVale McGee totaled 13 points and nine rebounds for Washington.

The loss for the Celtics (55-26) locked them into the third spot in the Eastern Conference, meaning that Boston will face the sixth-seeded New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs while the second-seeded Miami Heat will the face the seventh-seeded Philadelphia 76ers.

Washington (23-58) was held to 40 percent shooting from the field and three-point range while making 25-of-32 free throws in the victory.

Jeff Green, who started alongside Glen Davis, Jermaine O'Neal, Von Wafer and Delonte West, had a stellar performance for Boston, amassing 20 points and 15 rebounds (11 defensive rebounds) for Boston.

Davis also scored 20 points and had four assists and three rebounds for the Celtics, who shot 38.1 percent from the field. Jermaine O'Neal had one of his best games as a Celtic, finishing with 15 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. West and Wafer both had 11 points and Arroyo finished with seven points to lead the bench scoring for Boston.

West was forced to leave the game with a sprained ankle early in the second quarter after playing just 23 minutes.

Boston will host the New York Knicks in its regular season finale on Wednesday night.


Celtics Call It A Season: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett To Sit Against Washington

According to a tweet from Gary Washburn, the Celtics will not play Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, or Rajon Rondo in Monday’s game against the Washington Wizards.

With Sunday’s loss to the Miami Heat putting LeBron James and co. one game ahead of the Celtics for the second seed in the Eastern Conference with just two games to play, the Celtics appear to have called it quits on the regular season. Though the Celtics do hold the tiebreaker over Miami, the Heat aren’t likely to lose against either Toronto or an Atlanta team that, already locked into the fifth seed in the East, have nothing much to play for.

After Monday’s game in Washington, the Celtics will finish up the season in Boston against the Knicks—the team they will most likely be facing in the first round of the playoffs.


Celtics vs. Wizards: Wounded C's Back In Action Monday Night In Nation's Capital

One day after the massacre in Miami, the short remainder of the Celtics' regular season may be not much more than a formality. They can still possibly clinch the second seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to the tiebreaker they own over the the Heat. But at this point, after such lackluster showings against two of the East's top teams under playoff-esque conditions in the last five days, perhaps it would be best to just be content with No. 3, preserve health and get ready for this weekend's post-season opener, likely against the New York Knicks.

Whether the C's take this route remains to be seen. The first chance to see what their plan for the regular season's final two games is comes Monday night against the Wizards in the nation's capital at 7 p.m. EDT, on Comcast Sports Net New England. In between their two dreadful losses to the Bulls and Heat, the C's beat the Wizards on Friday by a 104-88 count. The Wizards are a lowly 22-58, but the last time they hosted the Celts, on Jan. 22, they erased a 16-point, second half deficit and won, 85-83.

The Celtics issues at this point are multitudinous, but the most pressing one, as it has been for weeks, seems to be the play of Rajon Rondo, who has gone from a sure-fire All-Star to a complete enigma in less than two months. Rondo, to be kind, was practically invisible in the losses at Chicago and Miami, totaling 14 points and 11 assists in the two games. Whether he is saving himself for the playoffs, is still upset over the trade of his best friend Kendrick Perkins or has simply forgotten what makes him great, he will have to pick it up soon if the C's hope to go anywhere come playoff time. Rondo torched Washington rookie point guard John Wall on Friday night to the tune of 20 points, 14 assists and six steals, breeding confidence that he will be back on his game on Monday.

Another giant question mark surrounds Ray Allen, who seemed to be the odd man out again on Sunday, getting only nine shots against the Heat. He's averaging just 9.1 attempts over his last 10 games and hasn't taken more than 11 in any of those. Coach Doc Rivers remarked after the loss in Miami, "We've got to do a better job of getting him shots. I have to do a better job. He has to do a better job of being patient and we've got to set picks. I think our pick-setting is horrendous right now." Allen took just two shots in 20:25 minutes of first half playing time against Miami, a stat that makes little sense.

The C's can get back into a tie with Miami for second place in the East with a win Monday night and a Heat loss in Atlanta. Both teams close out the regular season on Wednesday, the Celts against the Knicks and Miami at Toronto.

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