Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics didn’t need Gordon Hayward to beat the Dallas Mavericks on Monday and remain the lone one-loss team in the NBA. The Celtics will try to post their ninth consecutive victory after opening the season with a loss when they host the Washington Wizards tonight.
Hayward suffered a broken hand in a win at San Antonio on Saturday but Marcus Smart stepped into the starting lineup against Dallas and delivered 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and a team-high six assists while battling defensively against 7-3 Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis.
“I just used my strength and my quickness,” Smart told reporters. “Obviously, he has a height advantage over me, so I had to get low and really battle. … So, for us, it was just being as physical as we can, getting our hands up and making him shoot over us.”
The Wizards have been off since Friday and are opening a three-game road trip at Boston while hoping to turn things around after dropping games against Indiana and Cleveland to fall to 2-6. “We want to go there (to Boston) and continue to grow as a team and put ourselves in a position to win,” Washington coach Scott Brooks told reporters. “We haven’t won as many games as we want, but I like what we’re doing. I like the growth that’s happening.”
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Washington, NBCS Boston
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (2-6): Star guard Bradley Beal is averaging 26.1 points but is shooting 40.4 percent from the floor as teams plan their defenses around him. Beal is trying to open the offense for the rest of his teammates and handed out nine assists in Friday’s 113-100 home loss to Cleveland as rookie forward Rui Hachimura (21 points on 10-of-13 shooting) and center Thomas Bryant (23 points, 11-of-16) enjoyed big games. A player to watch on Wednesday is point guard Isaiah Thomas, who has worked his way into the starting lineup after two injury-plagued campaigns that followed a brilliant tenure in Boston.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (8-1): Kemba Walker led the way with 29 points on Monday and knocked down eight 3-pointers, including three during a key stretch in the fourth quarter that put the game away. “Really just trying to be aggressive,” Walker told reporters. “Trying to make the right plays. I thought I made the right plays on all those shots that I took tonight. I missed a lot early, but my shot felt good all night. In the fourth quarter, naturally the competitive nature just kind of comes out. I’m just trying to do what I can to put the ball in the basket.” Walker’s big fourth quarter helped the team overcome an off night from forward Jayson Tatum, who went 1-of-18 from the floor in the win.
- Celtics SG Jaylen Brown is averaging 27.5 points on 19-of-34 shooting over the last two games.
- Washington SF Davis Bertans went 1-of-8 from 3-point range on Friday after going 19-of-33 over the previous five contests.
- Boston took each of the three meetings last season.
PREDICTION: Celtics 123, Wizards 106