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Paul Pierce scored 27 points and broke an 84 all tie with a timely three pointer late, as the Celtics escaped Washington with their first win of the season over the Wizards, 91-88.
Pierce and Jeff Green put the Celtics up by 11 with back-to-back three point buckets with around 9 minutes left to play, but the Wizards came back to tie the game with 3 minutes left.
Led by 21 points from Jordan Crawford and 19 from Kevin Seraphin, the Wizards bench outscored their starters, 62-24.
Rajon Rondo finished with 12 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds and helped orchestrate the Celtics to an early 16 point lead, but Seraphin and the Wizards’ bench would cut the lead to 7 at the half.
After Pierce hit a three to start the game, the Celtics never trailed in this one despite the narrow margin of victory.
For the second straight night the Celtics couldn’t find their shooting touch and shot just under 43% from the field and under 70% from the line. The Celtics’ bench were the biggest culprits as the reserves shot just 10-for-27.
The Celtics struggled on the glass and got out-rebounded by double digits just like they did last night against the Bucks. A bright spot for the Celtics was their ability to take care of the ball, turning it over just 8 times. The Celtics came into Saturday’s contest averaging 16.5 turnovers per game.
Rookie Jared Sullinger got the first start of his career, starting in place of Brandon Bass who Doc Rivers decided to bring off the bench for his scoring. Sullinger finished with 4 points, 7 rebounds and a block.
The Celtics have the next three days off before they face the Wizards again Wednesday in Boston.