Boston won the last five portions of its six-game homestand and recorded a 110-86 triumph over the Utah Jazzlast night behind 21 points from Kevin Garnett and 20 out of Paul Pierce. Glen Davis netted 15 points for the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics, who have won nine of 11 games overall.
"We are running and executing our plays. We are getting into our sets," Pierce said. "When we are supposed to set a screen we are setting a screen, when you're supposed to back door we are back-dooring. We are doing all the little things that are really helping us execute."
The news wasn't all that good for Boston, as veteran center Shaquille O'Neal is expected to miss some time with a sore hip. O'Neal was replaced in the first half by Semih Erden, who scored a season-high 14 points off the bench. Boston will play five of its next six games on the road and is 12-6 as the visitor this season.
Meanwhile, the Wizards had a four-game home winning streak cut short with last night's 109-91 loss to thePhoenix Suns and have dropped two straight overall since winning back-to-back games.
In Friday's loss to the Suns, Nick Young had 25 points and rookie John Wall posted 11 points, 14 assists and four steals for the Wizards, who fell to 12-9 in the nation's capital this season.
"We didn't have any heart, didn't have any fight, just gave up pretty quickly," Wall said.
Rashard Lewis recorded 16 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort. Andray Blatche ended with 14 points and entered the game averaging 19.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals in his previous four contests.
Wizards forward Kirk Hinrich exited Friday's loss with an elbow injury and is doubtful Saturday's game with Boston.
Boston has won seven of its past eight with the Wizards, including a 114-83 rout in Beantown back in November. Washington is winless in the last three games as the host in this series.