Wizards’ Third Quarter: As Beautiful And Devastating As It Was Historic

Whether it was trying to track the run on Twitter, or the frantic texts to Wizards PR trying to get some historical context, I was having as much success keeping up with the Wizards’ third-quarter run as the Celtics were Sunday night. The result was something we haven’t seen in years, and a brand new 2-2 series heading back to Boston.

The Wizards 26-0 run spanned roughly six-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter and was powered by Washington’s defense. Here’s a supercut of all the points scored. Notice how many of the highlights start on the defensive end.

“It’s probably our best stretch of basketball,” said Scott Brooks, who deserves credit for his stellar adjustments in the two home games. “Defensively, we were in the right position and we made some adjustments at the half. We didn’t make silly mistakes that we made early in the game.”

The silly mistakes early were obvious. The Wizards lost Isaiah Thomas in transition and in the half-court, and he hit five threes in the first 15 minutes of the game. After his scorching start? He only attempted one more shot from deep. The Wizards trapped him hard in pick-and-roll, which not only limited his shot attempts, but forced the Celtics star into six turnovers.

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“He’s a small guy,” Markieff Morris said after the game. “So at the end of the day, if you got three players around you, how can you make a pass? How can you make a shot? It’s just basically what we’ve been doing and just trying, you know, to get the ball out of his hands. Hopefully, the other guys miss shots like they’ve been doing.”

Role players play better at home, which has certainly been the case through four games of this series. In Games 1 and 2, Terry Rozier and Jae Crowder hit big shots — the most noise made by either in D.C. was Rozier’s kerfuffle with Brandon Jennings resulting in both getting ejected from Game 3.

The dominance by the Wizards at home has literally not been seen in years. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Wizards are the first team to go on runs of 22-0-or-greater in back-to-back playoff games since the 2010-11 Spurs.

The run was as close to perfect as basketball can get. It featured every kind of offensive and defensive play a team can make. It was as beautiful as it was historic. Unless, of course, you were wearing green. Then you probably had another word: devastating.

Craig Hoffman is an on-air personality for 106.7 The Fan. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigHoffman

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