By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — On a night when defense was optional, the Boston Celtics took full advantage. They outshot the Washington Wizards 140-133 on Wednesday night, the biggest number the team has put on the scoreboard in regulation since November of 1992.READ MORE: Gabriel Landeskog Explains Why He Went After Taylor Hall Following Clean Hit On Nathan MacKinnon
Fittingly, that offensive explosion also came against the Washington franchise. But back when the ’92 Celtics scored 150 points against Washington, led by Reggie Lewis’ 29 points and Dee Brown’s 22, that franchise was known as the Bullets. And as for the current Celtics, only five of them were alive at that point.
While they didn’t play much defense on Wednesday, the Boston offense was steady throughout. They dropped 34 points in each of the first three quarters, and already had 100 points on the board with 2:23 left in the third. It looked like they’d be flirting with 150 points when the final buzzer sounded, but a 2:23 scoring drought late in the contest ended that quest. Despite that dry spell, the Celtics still dropped 38 points in the final frame.
Boston shot 51 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from three-point land on Wednesday night. With all those points came a lot of assists, as the Celtics dished out a season-high 32 helpers. Wednesday’s win marked the second time the Celtics have hit 135 on the scoreboard in less than a week.
And once again, it was not just one player leading the way for the Celtics. It was a complete team beat down, with seven players finishing in double figures, including all five starters. That balance has been a staple of the Celtics, and is the main reason they now sit at 9-1 on the season.READ MORE: Springfield Police Officer Hurt, Suspect Shot Outside MGM Casino
Kemba Walker once again did Kemba Walker things. He led the charge with 25 points, scoring 11 of them in the third quarter. He sank just one shot in the fourth quarter — a three to end Boston’s late scoring slump — but it proved to be the dagger that Boston needed to put away the pesky Wizards. With 14 second-half points, Walker is now up to 16.4 points per game over the final 24 minutes, good for fifth in the NBA.
Jayson Tatum shook off his 1-for-18 night on Monday and dropped 23 points on the Wizards. He attacked early and often, scoring 10 points in the first quarter on 5-for-9 shooting. He struggled from deep, hitting just one of his five three-point attempts, but was back to attacking the rim throughout. He still missed a few bunnies, but Tatum finished 9-for-20, a solid bounce back effort from Monday night’s stinker.
Jaylen Brown added 22 points for Boston, again showing off his new electric array of moves to the rim. Marcus Smart had 17 points to go with five assists, four rebounds and a pair of blocks, while Enes Kanter rounded out Boston’s starting five with 13 points and nine rebounds. Rookie Carsen Edwards led the charge off the bench with a career-high 18 points (hitting four of his five triples), while Brad Wannamaker added 10 points and five assists.
All of that offense came without Gordon Hayward, who was on the Boston bench with a fancy new splint on his left hand. It’s this balanced attack that has opponents wondering what the heck they can do to slow down these Celtics. No one has had any solution so far.MORE NEWS: Garth Brooks Excited For First-Ever Performance At 'Home Of Champions' Gillette Stadium
The Celtics have now won nine straight and remain atop the NBA. Their plus-9.2 point differential is second in the league, trailing only the Lakers at plus-9.9. Boston takes its 9-1 record on the road for a five-game swing out west, which should be a great test for one of the NBA’s hottest teams.