Sports

NBA: Undermanned Wizards shock Celtics


Kristaps Porzingis NBA Mage

Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Washington Wizards makes a pitch against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at Capital One Arena on March 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

The Washington Wizards didn’t have some of their best players on Tuesday night, but the ones they did have were good enough to beat the visiting Boston Celtics 130-111.

Kristaps Porzingis has amassed 32 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists for the Wizards, who are without Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma. It was the 4th game in a row Beal was absent due to a pain in his left knee, while Kuzma did not play in the past 5 games because of a sprained right ankle.

Beal, who is averaging 23.2 points per game, the highest on the team, is believed to have been involved in an incident with a fan when he left the field after Washington’s game in Orlando on March 21. He has been inactive since that match. Kuzma was the team’s number 3 scorer (21.2 ppg).

Washington Center Daniel Gafford also missed the game because of a left foot injury.

The Wizards received 25 points, 10 bounces and 5 assists from Deni Avdija, 19 points and 9 assists from Monte Morris. Washington has 54 of 99 shots from the field (54.5%).

Jayson Tatum had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists for the Celtics, who shot 11/44 from 3-pointers. Jaylen Brown added 18 points for the Celtics, while Marcus Smart scored 14 and Malcolm Brogdon had 13.

Boston (52-24) remains in second place in the Eastern Conference standings, 2 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks (54-21). Washington (34-42) is in 11th place in the East, 2 1/2 games behind the 10th-placed Chicago Bulls (36-39), who hold the last kick.

The Wizards led 29-23 at halftime and had their biggest first-half lead at halftime, 64-51. The Celtics did not take a free throw in the first two innings.

A 10-0 run-limited Morris basket gave Washington an 82-60 advantage with 7:06 remaining in the third inning. The Wizards had a 23-point lead at the end of the third inning and a 99-78 lead going into the fourth inning.

Boston got through to round 12 in the middle of the fourth round but couldn’t get any closer.

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