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Wizards-Celtics Preview

The Washington Wizards' lack of resolve continues to baffle Randy Wittman, and John Wall's turnovers keep piling up.

The Boston Celtics haven't impressed lately either ahead of Friday night's meeting.

Washington lost 101-87 at Charlotte on Wednesday despite holding a nine-point lead with fewer than nine minutes remaining. The Wizards (6-6) missed their final 17 shots and were limited to six fourth-quarter points, their lowest total going back to at least 2002-03.

"You've got to make plays in this league. That's what it boils down to," Wittman said. " ... We don't have guys that are making plays right now.

"We start feeling sorry, start pouting and putting our heads down and it just becomes a snowball. We've got to grow up in that aspect."

Wall made a preseason agreement with assistant coach Howard Eisley that would see him pay Eisley $100 for each two-plus turnover game. It's cost him $900 already.

Wall's 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio is the worst of his career, a season after posting a personal-best 2.6 mark. The team is 1-3 when he commits more than five.

He has 13 turnovers and 11 assists in his last two games and his field-goal percentage of 41.4 is also his worst since his rookie season. He was 6 for 18 from the field against the Hornets.

Wall has averaged 7.0 turnovers in his last four meetings with Boston and committed a season high-tying eight in a 118-98 road loss to the Celtics on Nov. 6. The Celtics scored 24 points off 24 Wizards turnovers and got a team-high 21 points from Jared Sullinger.

Boston (8-7) had dropped three of four prior to Wednesday's 84-80 victory over winless Philadelphia. The Celtics shot 34.1 percent and had to come back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit against a team that lost its 26th consecutive game.

"You guys know how much of a disappointment it would have been (to lose)," said forward Jae Crowder, who had eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. "Very, very, very disappointing to all of us, coaches and players."

Isaiah Thomas scored 30 and Boston held Philadelphia to three points in the final 6:13, but the performance represented a different kind of letdown from the one a night earlier, when the Celtics lost by 24 at Atlanta.

"I didn't even mention last night's game. I told them what we need to do on a consistent level and said, 'That's all I have to say,'" coach Brad Stevens said. "I just think we need to defend with greater urgency."

Washington continues to be erratic defensively, giving up 96.5 points in wins and 116.3 in losses - the league's third-largest differential.

"Until we are committed all the way, we're going to be up and down," Wittman said.

Marcus Smart, averaging 9.8 points and 3.2 assists, has missed three straight games for Boston due to a lower left leg injury and is expected to be sidelined two more weeks.

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