Shorthanded Wizards, Celtics meet up in Washington
The Celtics (16-10) overcame a handful of absences and utilized their impressive depth to post a 113-100 win against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night. Boston was without Kylie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Aron Baynes, and Guerschon Yabusele due to various ailments.
“We’re not going to play perfect,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told the Boston Globe. “We never are. But when you have a lot of guys missing, we just have to kind of stay with it — even if it’s not going our way — until it does.”
Marcus Morris Sr. had a season-high 31 points and Jayson Tatum scored 21 against the Pelicans. Jaylen Brown scored 19 points and first-round draft choice Robert Williams III had career highs of seven points and 11 rebounds.
Boston took the lead late in the first quarter and never relinquished it, leading by as many as 22 points in the second half.
“I think our energy is way better since the start of the season,” Morris told the Globe. “Guys are really buying into their roles and it’s just starting to be fun. Like Kyrie’s been saying, it’s becoming a lot of fun. And we’re all understanding what the main goal is. And I think it’s showing.”
Irving (sore right shoulder) and Hayward (illness) are day-to-day. Baynes (sprained ankle) was out again after missing Saturday’s win in Chicago. Horford also sat out again with what Stevens termed patellar tendinitis. Yabusele (sprained right ankle) will be out against the Wizards.
Washington trailed by 26 points in the third quarter before rallying in the fourth. The Wizards got to within one on Bradley Beal’s free throws at 4:45, but Myles Turner’s 15-footer made it 105-99 with 1:51 remaining and the Pacers held on.
Beal, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, led Washington with 30 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 23 off the bench.
Wall’s and Porter’s status is uncertain for Wednesday night. Wall’s absence Monday was the first time this season he’s missed a game due to injury. He did not play last week against the Hawks because of personal reasons. He’s been dealing with the heel injury on and off.
“He fights through a lot of things. He’s done this with his heel for four, five, or six years — I don’t even know, long before I was here,” coach Scott Brooks told NBCSportsWashington.com regarding Wall.
Forward Sam Dekker, acquired in trade with the Cavaliers last week after missing weeks due to a left ankle injury, made his Wizards debut against the Pacers. He had two points and two steals in 10 minutes.
“There was definitely some rust to knock off,” Dekker told NBCSportsWashington.com. “Our trainer was laughing at me. He said, ‘I’ve never seen someone drink their water so fast in a timeout.’ My bottle was gone.”