After two physically tough games to start their series, the Celtics and Wizards came into Game 3 with two totally different approaches. The Celtics won Game 2 in overtime, thus taking a 2-0 commanding lead in the series, while Washington came out in survival mode, needing the win to avoid a possible sweep on Sunday. Fans of both teams were able to see the rising tensions between the two franchises early — and often.
The animosity that’s been felt between the two teams all season came to a head during the second quarter when Kelly Olynyk set a hard pick, laying his shoulder into Wizards guard Kelly Oubre. Olynk was rightfully given the offensive penalty, but then Oubre got up, charged full speed, and slammed into Olynyk and referee Monty McCutchen, shoving Olynyk to the floor in front of Washington’s team bench. Oubre was sent to the locker room with a flagrant 2 foul in the aftermath, marking his first career ejection.
There were eight technical fouls and three ejections in all activities between these two franchises over the last few days. To say the temperature is rising between these two organizations is an understatement.
— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) May 5, 2017
Beyond the bad blood, Game 3 marked a fine performance by a young but talented Wizards squad looking to make a point. John Wall (who is blossoming into one of the NBA’s best players) scored 25 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the field and added eight assists while Marcin Gortat scored 22 points and added 16 rebounds in the process. For Wall, the game marked his 10th straight playoff game with 20 points and seven or more assists; that’s the longest such streak in the history of the NBA Playoffs.
In all, the Wizards had seven players score in double figures as the team cruised to a 27-point win over the very same team that beat them in overtime just days ago. At one point in the second quarter, the Wizards put on a 22-0 run on their way to a 34-12 lead, which proved too much to overcome for the Celtics, who never recovered.
For the Celtics, Avery Bradley was recovering from a sore hip pointer, but still managed to scored 25. Al Horford added 23 for the visiting team. Thomas and Marcus Smart added 19 points apiece while Jae Crowder had 18 for the Celtics who shot 35.1 percent from the field as a team. Boston played most of the fourth quarter with reserve players in the game as the Celtics were already concentrating on their 2-1 series lead and looking ahead to a pivotal game four matchup later this weekend.
Washington’s Otto Porter had somewhat of a career milestone, hitting seven in a row from the field to start the game, only to finish by hitting one of last six.
BOS leads series 2-0. pic.twitter.com/mVUwBr2gnY
— NBA (@NBA) May 5, 2017
”The Wizards have been a great starting team all year,” Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens said. ”They’ve been a great home team all year.”
Washington improved to 4-0 at home in the playoffs. The Wizards’ 119 first-quarter points is an all-time NBA record for the first three games of any series. Washington has outscored Boston 119-70 to start the last three games.
Brandon Jennings and Terry Rozier were both tossed out of the game in the fourth quarter after the two engaged in a shoving match with each other over the course of a couple of plays. It’s unknown if the league will hand down any penalties, fines, or suspensions for the players who participated in all of the physical incidents that occurred Thursday night, but the chippy moments will certainly help out with the ratings for Game 4.
— NBA (@NBA) May 5, 2017
[Featured Image by Greg Fiume/Getty Images]