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Celtics vs. Wizards rating, takeaways: Jayson Tatum drops 50 in play-in sport win, Boston clinches No. 7 seed

Within the second sport of the NBA’s play-in event, the No. 7 Boston Celtics took on the No. 8 Washington Wizards to be able to decide which group would face the Brooklyn Nets within the opening spherical of the playoffs because the seventh seed, and which group would meet the Indiana Pacers on Thursday evening to find out the No. 8 seed within the East. 

Whereas the Wizards held a halftime lead, Jayson Tatum exploded within the third quarter for 23 of his 50 factors to assist the Celtics open up a lead in opposition to Washington that they might by no means quit. Ultimately, the Celtics got here away with a 118-100 win. 

Now, Boston will set its sights on Brooklyn whereas Washington has to rapidly flip its consideration to what Indiana can carry to the desk following its blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets earlier Tuesday evening. We’ll discover out quickly sufficient who the ultimate group within the Japanese Convention playoffs shall be, however the Celtics do not have to fret about their positioning after tonight’s win. 

Listed here are three key takeaways from the sport:

1. Tatum goes off

This has been a tough season for the Celtics with their fixed stream of accidents and absences, and Tatum’s struggles are a notable a part of that. He missed over two weeks after testing optimistic for COVID-19, and since he is come again he is had to make use of an inhaler and nonetheless struggles respiration at occasions. 

However whereas there have been some tough moments and video games from him over the previous few months, we have additionally seen him put collectively a number of the finest performances of his profession. He had 53 in opposition to the Timberwolves, 44 in opposition to the Warriors in a showdown with Steph Curry, and naturally a career-high 60 factors in that epic comeback over the Spurs. Now, you may add Tuesday evening to the record.

Merely put, Tatum was unbelievable. He completed with 50 factors — his third 50-point sport of the season — eight rebounds and 4 assists. His enormous third quarter, through which he put up 23 factors and almost outscored the Wizards (26) by himself was an actual assertion and the important thing turning level of the sport. The Celtics went into the break trailing by two, and ended the third quarter up by 10. From there, they largely coasted to victory.  

One main cause for Tatum’s success in opposition to the Wizards is that he made a degree to place his head down and get into the paint. Not solely did he end quite a lot of straightforward appears to be like on the rim, however he bought the Wizards in foul bother and was an ideal 17-of-17 from the free throw line for a brand new career-high from there. 

2. Celtics dominate the third quarter

The primary half of this sport was pretty even, because the Celtics jumped forward early, however the Wizards battled again to take management within the second quarter. On the break, the Wizards have been up 54-52, and it appeared like we could possibly be in for a extremely enjoyable and aggressive end. The Celtics had different plans. 

Tatum began the half with an and-one and Walker adopted with three straight 3-pointers to place the Celtics in entrance. Then it was Tatum’s flip once more, he added a jumper and a 3-pointer to pressure a Wizards timeout. All of that occurred within the first 3:51 of the third quarter, and earlier than the Wizards even knew what was happening, the Celtics had constructed a 69-56 lead. 

That run, and the third quarter on the whole, was just about the sport. The Celtics went 12-of-23 from the sector and 8-of-9 from the free throw line within the body and outscored the Wizards 38-26. To their credit score, the Wizards hung round for some time, and bought the deficit to single digits just a few occasions, however they have been by no means capable of get better. 

3. Wizards have a nasty evening, however nonetheless alive

This was not an excellent evening for the Wizards. Beal was on the market battling, however he was clearly not 100% and had a whole lot of bother on each ends. He bought to 22 factors finally, however wanted 25 photographs to do it, and had bother guarding Tatum on protection. Westbrook, in the meantime, had 20 factors, 14 rebounds and 5 assists, however shot 6-of-18 and turned it over 4 occasions. Even worse, as a group, the Wizards shot 3-of-21 from 3-point land. 

The excellent news for them is that they are nonetheless alive. Because of their unbelievable run towards the top of the common season, the Wizards did not simply get into the play-in event, they completed eighth within the Japanese Convention and earned the safety of double-elimination. 

Consequently, they have not been eradicated from playoff rivalry simply but. They’re going to now face the Pacers on Thursday evening within the ultimate spherical of the play-in event, with the winner of that sport getting the No. 8 seed within the playoffs and a first-round matchup with the Sixers. Whereas the Pacers appeared unbelievable of their destruction of the Hornets, they’ve all kinds of harm issues themselves and that is completely a winnable sport for the Wizards. 

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