Wizards’ scoring balance sinks Celtics in regular-season finale

Posted April 16, 2014, at 10:36 p.m.
Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (4) shoots the ball past Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) and Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass (30) during the first half at TD Garden in Boston Wednesday night.
Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (4) shoots the ball past Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) and Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass (30) during the first half at TD Garden in Boston Wednesday night.

BOSTON — Bradley Beal led a balanced attack with 27 points as the Washington Wizards clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference on the final day of the regular season with a 118-102 NBA victory over the Boston Celtics Wednesday night.

Trevor Booker scored 20 points and John Wall had 15 points and nine assists for the Wizards, who passed over Brooklyn in the standings and will open the playoffs on Sunday at Chicago. Marcin Gortat finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Nene had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench as Washington shot 56.8 percent from the field.

Kelly Olynyk led Boston with 24 points while Jeff Green contributed 20. Avery Bradley finished with 18 points and Brandon Bass added 16 for the Celtics, who were 7-of-30 from 3-point range.

Wall had 13 points and five assists in the first quarter alone as Washington burst out of the gate to grab a 38-24 lead. Green scored 12 points in the second and Olynyk had three baskets in an 8-0 run to start the third, pulling the Celtics within 68-64.

Wall’s basket capped a 13-2 surge that ended the third and put the Wizards up 91-75 and Nene’s hoop early in the fourth created the first 20-point margin. Boston never threatened again in losing for the 23rd time in 29 games and ending with the third-worst season (23-59) in franchise history.

GAME NOTEBOOK: G Rajon Rondo (hamstring), G Jerryd Bayless (knee), C Kris Humphries (knee) and C Jared Sullinger (ankle) all sat for Boston. … Washington finished with identical 22-19 records at home and on the road. … The Wizards went 2-1 against the Bulls this season, including a 102-88 win in the only meeting at Chicago.

Cavaliers 114, Nets 85

Tyler Zeller collected 22 points and 11 rebounds and Dion Waiters scored 19 points as Cleveland closed out its season by crushing visiting Brooklyn.

Kyrie Irving scored 15 points and Tristan Thompson collected 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who finished with a 19-22 mark at home. Spencer Hawes contributed 10 points and seven rebounds for Cleveland.

The Nets were more concerned with staying healthy than going all out in the final game and left all of the starters out while going with a seven-man rotation. Marcus Thornton scored 20 points and Andray Blatche added 20 points and 12 boards for Brooklyn, which will be the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and will begin the playoffs Saturday at the Toronto Raptors.

The Cavaliers took a 51-49 lead into the half but pulled away easily after the break. Hawes knocked down a 3-pointer to kick off a 15-4 surge beginning the period and Irving’s jumper spread the lead out to 74-59 lead with 4:13 left in the quarter.

Waiters closed the third with a 3-pointer to send Cleveland into the fourth with a 17-point cushion and Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer with 6:41 remaining made it 99-74. Blatche hit a rare 3-pointer to provide a fourth-quarter highlight for Brooklyn, which finished 16-25 on the road.

 

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