C's End Three Game Skid
By Chris Frigo
Coming off a three game losing streak, the Celtics came into the Verizon Center determined to win. Monday night, the Celtics showed why they have been the top defensive team in the league since aquiring Kevin Garnett.
The Wizards shot just 39% from the field, despite a big performance from Caron Butler. However, the Wizards thought the Celtics merely had the help of the referees.
"You're playing against the Boston Celtics, so you're not going to get a lot of calls. KG's going to set illegal screens; they're not going to be called. That's just part of the game," Wizards center Brendan Haywood said. "You're going to go to the basket, and if it's not basically just a straight-up WWF body slam, you're not getting the call."
Both teams took the same amount of foul shots, and Boston and Washington had 23 and 24 personal fouls, respectively, with five fouls coming from co-captain Antawn Jamison in just the fourth quarter alone.
"I thought the refereeing was inconsistent at times. I thought that 'Tawn got hit a few times. You don't go 2 for 17 in his situation and not get to the line more than six times," Washington coach Flip Saunders said.
With the Wizards leading by 8 points late in the third quarter, the Celtics used a 16-4 run to jump-start their offense, en route to outscoring Washington 25-10 in the fourth quarter, sealing Boston's first win in the past four games.
Paul Pierce sat out the fourth quarter with what he thinks is a mild sprain to the foot.
"Our offense has been sketchy in the fourth, and our defense has been worse. And today, I thought both things came through for us," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I told our guys with 5 minutes left, 'OK, if we don't score again, we've got to win the game. Let's just lean on our defense.' I didn't literally mean that, but I thought they had the focus on the defensive end."
Rajon Rondo once again carried the Celtics with 17 points and 12 asissts, his eighteenth doble-double of the season. Caron Butler led Washington with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Washington Wizards continue their quest for last-place in their division, only worsened by the season-long bans of Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for bringing guns into their locker room.
"Even though their record is dismal, they still have guys who can put the ball in the basket," Garnett said. "They have guys who are experienced. It wasn't like it was going to be an easy night."
The Celtics will hope to add to their wins margin when they host the struggling Miami Heat on Wednesday.previous page