WASHINGTON — John Wall scored 24 points and the Washington Wizards took control with a 22-0 run in the first quarter for a 116-89 victory over the Boston Celtics Thursday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Wizards trail 2-1 in the contentious series after dropping two road games in Boston. The latest charged matchup included eight technical fouls and Washington’s Kelly Oubre Jr. getting ejected in the first half for a Flagrant 2 foul.
Early leads are the norm for Washington against Boston, but this time the Wizards avoided a letdown, pushing the lead to 30 in the second half. Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic each scored 19 points.
Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points in Boston’s 129-119 overtime win on Tuesday, but was held to 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting in Game 3. The Celtics, who had won six playoff games in a row, shot 35.1 percent from the field and never pulled closer than 19 in the second half. Al Horford led Boston with 16 points.
Tempers between the teams run hot with incidents dating back to last season and throughout the six contests this campaign including four in the regular season. The physical matchup went next level as three players were ejected.
The Wizards led by 14 and 13 points after the first quarters of Games 1 and 2 respectively, but ultimately couldn’t hang on. They went up several notches in their first home game of the series.
Tied at 12, Washington held Boston scoreless for over five minutes while hitting 7-of-9 shots including three 3-pointers. One of Bogdanovic’s four 3-pointer’s capped the run as Washington led 39-17 after the first quarter.
With Washington leading 45-24 early in the second quarter, Boston’s Kelly Olynyk was whistled for a hard foul on Oubre. Reacting to the aggressive hit, Oubre charged and shoved the big man to the ground while also making contact with an official.
Washington’s Brandon Jennings and Boston’s Terry Rozier were ejected in the fourth quarter after each received two technical fouls. Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Wizards coach Scott Brooks were hit with technical fouls.
Wizards center Ian Mahinmi (calf strain), in his first game since April 10, and Boston’s Jonas Jerebko were hit with technical fouls for a first half skirmish.
Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 16 rebounds as Washington won the battle of the boards 50-38. The Wizards doubled up the Celtics’ scoring in the paint 56-28.
NOTES: Game 4 is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday in Washington. The series shifts back to Boston for Game 5 on Wednesday. … The Wizards are 26-6 at home since Dec. 5. … F Gerald Green, reinserted into Boston’s starting lineup after not playing in Game 2, scored eight points. … Wizards coach Scott Brooks was asked about the revelation that former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has provided advice for Celtics G Isaiah Thomas. “In my offseason I live in Orange County, Kobe lives there. He’s talked to me today about how to stop him on defense,” Brooks quipped. “So we’ll see. We’ll see how good of a coach he is. Either he’s a really good offensive coach and a bad defensive coach or the other way around.” … Michael Phelps a 23-time Olympic gold medalist, a Baltimore native attended Game 3.