Marcus Morris (31 points), Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier heroic but short-handed Celtics fall to Wizards in 125-124 double-OT epic

Brad Stevens, Marcus Morris take blame for wide-open three at end of regulation.

990
0
SHARE
Marcus Morris fires up a shot over his twin brother, Markieff in the first half Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

BOSTON — Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum gave the short-handed Celtics everything and then some Wednesday night.

The power forward, facing his twin brother Markieff, poured in a team-leading 31 points and hauled in nine rebounds points while Terry Rozier added 21 each and were within two seconds of a win before the Wizards tied the game late in regulation and won in double overtime, 125-124 at TD Garden.

Jayson Tatum finished with 19 and sent the game to double overtime with an acrobatic layup with 3.3 seconds left. Tatum could’ve ended the game but he missed the free throw that extended the game for another five minutes. His three at the end of double-overtime hit the back of the rim and the Celtics lost their second straight at home.

The loss drops the Celtics to 46-22.

Bradley Beal had 34 for Washington, which won for the third time in eight games to improve to 39-30 on the season. Beal’s potential game-tying three rattled in and out with under 10 seconds left. After a video review, Otto Porter drove to the paint but Jodie Meeks was left uncovered in the corner. His three fell through with 2.0 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

“Me being a veteran, I put that on me,” Morris said of allowing Meeks to drift out to the corner all alone. “Just committing to (Porter’s drive), knowing that they needed a three. That was my bad.”

Brad Stevens took responsibility for not giving the foul with a 3-point lead at 106-103.

“We had a lot of guys out there that aren’t necessarily (familiar) with being out there in those situations,” Stevens said. “That was on me. We’ve just got to be more aware.”

For a full box score, click here.

With Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Daniel Theis all out, the Celtics featured a starting lineup of Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier in the backcourt and Guerschon Yabusele, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes, a first to be sure this season.

Whether it was extra energy provided from Yabusele’s first NBA start or Scary Terry Rozier putting the fear into the slow-starting Wizards, the Sub C’s could not have come out much hotter.

With his twin Markieff defending him, Marcus Morris had a team-high 10 points in the opening quarter and the Celtics shot 14-of-24 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, racing out to a 37-23 lead after 12 minutes.

The Celtics, thanks to the wheeling and dealing of Jayson Tatum and the drives to the basket from Rozier, the Celtics were actually able to build the lead to 20, 51-31, on a Tatum drive to the basket with 6:51 left in the second.

From there, the Wizards took over and appeared interested in no longer playing coy with the Celtics subs. The Wizards closed the half on a 21-8 spurt that cut Boston’s lead to 59-52.

The third quarter belonged to Bradley Beal, as he picked up the slack for the Wizards, who were playing their 22nd straight game without All-Star point guard John Wall. Beal scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. The Wizards completed their comeback taking a 79-76 lead.

The Celtics trailed 81-80 heading into the fourth quarter. But a three from Rozier, who is fifth in the Eastern Conference in threes in the final quarter, and a steal and layup from Shane Larkin put the Celtics up, 85-81.

The Wizards closed to within two, 87-85, when Abdel Nader just beat the shot clock with a straightaway jumper from well beyond the arc to put Boston up, 90-85, with eight minutes left.

Beal drilled his first basket of the fourth quarter when his three made it 98-97. Morris, who had been mostly quiet in the second half, drilled a key jumper with 2:30 remaining to put the Celtics up 100-97. Tatum nearly put in a dagger with 1:05 left but his long jumper spun all the way around the rim before coming out. Beal responded with a basket that made it 100-99 with 50.8 seconds left.

But it was Morris to the rescue again with a right baseline three with 43.8 left that made it a two-possession game, 103-99, Boston. Beal came right back with a layup eight seconds later to cut it to two, 103-101. Tatum made one of two free throws for a 104-101 lead. Beal came right back with another layup and it was 104-103 Boston.

After Larkin’s two free throws put Boston up, 106-103, Beal nearly tied with a three that rattled in and out. But on a loose ball, officials confirmed via replay the possession back to Washington. Otto Porter drove the lane and spotted an uncovered Jodie Meeks in the right corner for the game-tying three with 2.0 seconds left.

Porter hit a go-ahead three a minute into OT. After the Wizards built the lead to three again at 111-108. Marcus Morris had a chance to complete a three-point play but his free throw didn’t fall and it was 111-110 Washington. Down 113-110, Rozier drained a three to tie the game with 90 seconds left in OT. His three with 57 seconds left was off the mark but the Celtics had another chance when Beal came up short.

Porter’s two free throws with 19.6 seconds left in OT gave Washington a 115-113 lead. Tatum’s inbound pass went off Morris’ hands and Marcus had to foul his twin brother with 10.4 seconds left.

With 2:39 left in double-overtime, Markieff Morris drilled a straightaway three to make it 122-117 as the weary and short-handed Celtics looked out of steam. After Nader’s basket with 1:45 left cut it to 122-119, Beal came back with a layup and free throw to complete the three-point play and a 125-119 lead. Rozier’s three hit nothing but net with 46 seconds left in double overtime and brought the remaining crowd to its feet and brought the Celtics within one, 125-124.