Celtics end slide with dominating 118-98 win over Wizards
BOSTON (AP) The Boston Celtics ran at a pace even the up-tempo Washington Wizards couldn't match.
Jared Sullinger scored 21 points, Isaiah Thomas had 16 points and eight assists and the Celtics ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Wizards 118-98 on Friday night.
''Our pace was amazing. That's the pace we want to play,'' Thomas said. ''We were running up and down the floor. We got some stops and we got out and ran. I think that's when we're at our best.''
Jae Crowder had 12 points, 10 rebounds and five steals as the Celtics pestered the Wizards into 24 turnovers. Kelly Olynyk added 19 points and Evan Turner scored 16 as the Celtics won for the first time since opening night with a dominant performance at home.
''It was nice to see the ball go in the net,'' Boston coach Brad Stevens said. ''Multiple guys played well and shot well. And a couple of those guys we need to score for us to be a good team.''
The Celtics couldn't have been much better. Boston outscored Washington 40-25 in the opening period and shot 61 percent in the first half while pulling away to a 23-point lead at halftime.
Boston also kept Washington's backcourt duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall from getting the Wizards' offense into much of a rhythm. Beal led Washington with 24 points and Wall, who fell into foul trouble early, finished with 13 points and eight assists. Wall also had eight turnovers, something that plagued the Wizards throughout the game.
''We just don't have the commitment to defend and play the way that we have to play,'' coach Randy Wittman said. ''We just let Boston do whatever they wanted. They pushed us. They hit us.''
Wittman said the Wizards wilted against and Boston never let up physically.
The Celtics closed the first quarter on a 24-9 run and Washington never recovered.
Boston led 100-74 after the third quarter, opening the period by hitting its first six 3-pointers and quickly snuffing any attempts by the Wizards to make a significant run.
''They took our momentum away,'' Wall said. ''They did a great job of using their hands and pushing the pace. We had a lot of turnovers and we couldn't make shots.''
SMALL BALL: Stevens said Boston's smaller lineup, with the 6-foot-9 Sullinger at center, may be around for a while if the Celtics can match their success from Friday. It also helped to have the 7-foot Kelly Olynyk come off the bench and hit 7 of 11 shots with four assists.
''I just thought he was aggressive right out of the gate,'' Stevens said. ''We don't need him to be the greatest shooter ever, but we need him to be a threat.''
NOT AGAIN: The Wizards were flat two nights after beating the San Antonio Spurs 102-99 on Beal's 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left.
''We went through the motions tonight. That's a disappointing thing to see less than 10 days into the season. Can't do that,'' Wittman said.
Wizards: Marcin Gortat had 10 points and eight rebounds. ... Wall was called for an offensive foul with 5:24 left in the first quarter and went to the bench right away with two personals. ... The Wizards were outrebounded 53-45.
Celtics: The Celtics' 40 points in the first quarter was seven more than they had scored in a period through the first four games. ... Boston hadn't won since beating Philadelphia 112-95 in the season opener.
Wizards: Visit Atlanta on Saturday.
Celtics: Visit Milwaukee on Tuesday.