Bryant’s 26 lead Wizards past Celtics for 1st win in restart
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida— Thomas Bryant had 26 points and nine rebounds to help the Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 96-90 on Thursday for their lone win in the restart.
Troy Brown Jr. added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Wizards, who had long been eliminated from the playoff race and had lost their first seven games in the bubble. The Wizards avoided being the only winless team in the restart.
Washington coach Scott Brooks knew coming in the focus would be on building toward next season. Bradley Beal, second in the league this season at 30.5 points per game, opted out of the restart with a lingering shoulder issue.
Davis Bertans, No. 2 on the Wizards in scoring and a top 3-point threat, didn’t want to risk injury with free agency ahead. And All-Star guard John Wall missed the entire season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.
“I think we had a great experience here,” Brooks said. “We had a lot of good growth, a lot of good bonding experience. A lot of positives came out of it. The only thing — we didn’t win the (games) that we wanted to win.”
The Celtics, who already were locked into a playoff matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, rested their starters.
Rookie Javonte Green took advantage and scored a season-high 23 points for Boston.
“He played with great intensity on both ends of the floor, was trying to do all the right stuff and obviously made a big impact offensively and did some really good things on the glass,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Semi Ojeleye added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics.
Both teams shot below 40% overall. The Wizards led 78-77 after three quarters, then outscored the Celtics 18-13 in the fourth. The Wizards held the Celtics to 22% shooting in the final 12 minutes.
Wizards: Rui Hachimura sat out with a sore quad. … Ish Smith scored 11 points and Jerome Robinson added 10. … Outscored the Celtics 18-12 at the free throw line. … Johnathan Williams had 16 rebounds.
Celtics: Sat Jaylen Brown (rest), Gordon Hayward (rest), Marcus Smart (rest), Jayson Tatum (left ankle), Daniel Theis (right foot) and Kemba Walker (left knee). … Made 8 of 35 3-pointers.
Brooks, joking about a conversation with Hachimura: “I was walking off the court and I said ‘Rui, man, I made a mistake. I should have never played you the other seven games. We might have won a couple of those.’ He didn’t know how to take it. He doesn’t know my humor yet. But we laughed and joked about it.”
Bryant averaged 18.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in the bubble. His season averages entering the game were 13.0 points and 7.2 boards per contest.
Wizards: Season over.
Celtics: Play the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs.
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