Page last updated on Sun Dec 21 13:41:08 EST 2014
11/03/2012 11:24 PM EDT
Pierce's late 3 lifts Celtics over Wizards 89-86

AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After his Boston Celtics held the Washington
Wizards to 1-for-14 shooting at the start, then scoreless for
nearly 3 minutes at the end, coach Doc Rivers spoke about "great
defensive intensity."

"Defense," he said, as if to underline the point, "is

Wizards guard Jordan Crawford offered another explanation for
the way things went in Boston's 89-86 victory over Washington on
Saturday night.

"We're forgetting plays," Crawford said.

A night after what Rivers called a "flat game," the Celtics used
defensive stands early - Washington's only scoring in the first
8 minutes came on Kevin Garnett's goaltending call - and late,
plus Paul Pierce's 27 points, including a key 3 down the
stretch, to edge the Wizards and improve to 1-2.

Washington dropped to 0-2 after its home opener in front of a
sellout crowd of 20,308 that occasionally included folks
chanting "Let's go, Celtics!" Washington is still without two
starters: point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the
2010 draft, and center Nene.

"Our starts are so bad, you don't know if you're ever going to
see daylight again. I didn't know if the ... sun was coming up
tomorrow. I truly didn't," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said with
a chuckle after watching his club fall behind Boston 17-2 at the
outset. "That's how bad it was to me, sitting there."

Bradley Beal, the No. 3 overall pick this year, missed all five
of his shots and scored two points for the Wizards, while
Crawford led the hosts with 21 points despite hurting his left
ankle in the second half.

"I wasn't involved, really," Beal said. "I wasn't asserting
myself. I wasn't aggressive."

Another Wizards reserve, Kevin Seraphin, played after being
sidelined by a right calf injury for their season opener and
made his first seven shots, finishing with 19 points. But
Seraphin also threw the ball away with Washington down one point
and 28 seconds left.

Cartier Martin scored five consecutive points during a 16-4 run
that put Washington ahead 86-84 on Seraphin's turnaround
12-footer with a little under 3 minutes remaining.

"You don't want to give teams any life," Pierce said. "Today we
gave them life and they had a shot at us."

But with thousands in the stands asking for "De-fense!
De-fense!" Pierce made a 3-pointer to put Boston back in front
with 2 1/2 minutes left.

From there, neither team managed to score until Jason Terry's
two free throws with 1.2 seconds left padded Boston's lead.

"Our defense put us in the situation to get where we were at,"
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo said. "We didn't shoot the ball well
tonight. We had a lot of easy shots we missed. We can't control
that, but what we can control is our effort on the defensive end
and we did that tonight."

Rondo had 12 points - including two on an acrobatic, one-handed
push that he likened to a shot put - and 12 assists, while
Garnett scored 15.

Wall has a knee injury and is expected to miss another month or
so, while Nene is out with a foot problem and no one is quite
sure when he'll be back. Both are really missed on offense,
which was apparent not only with the way Washington opened the
game, but also by checking the assists column on the stat sheet:
The starting five combined for a grand total of one assist in
the first half.

Yes, the Wizards got points less than 1 1/2 minutes in, but that
was because Garnett was called for goaltending on a short shot
by Emeka Okafor. Otherwise, Washington missed 13 of its first 14
field-goal attempts. That run of futility included shanked
3-pointers and midrange jumpers, layups and putbacks. Even a

Rondo's 19-foot jumper put Boston ahead 17-2 with a little less
than 4 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. By then, three
Celtics - Garnett, Pierce and rookie Jared Sullinger - each had
at least twice as many points as the entire Wizards roster.

A day after losing by 11 at home to Milwaukee, the Celtics led
by as much as 24-8 before Washington made a game of it.

"When you lose two games in a row and you play as poorly as we
played last night, you're either going to come out with great
intensity or we're still going to be thinking about last night
and get down 20," Rivers said. "That cushion won the game for

NOTES: Sullinger, the Ohio State forward taken in the first
round of the draft, made his first NBA start, replacing Brandon
Bass in Boston's lineup. Sullinger ended up with four points and
four fouls. ... The teams play each other again Wednesday at


Howard Fendrich is on Twitter at

RK Team
Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
Portugal - Primeira LigaMOREIRENSE vs. BOAVISTA08:00 AM PST
Spain - La LigaGRANADA vs. GETAFE08:00 AM PST
Germany - BundesligaFREIBURG vs. HANNOVER08:30 AM PST
Belgium - Pro LeagueCLUB BRUGGE vs. KRC GENK09:00 AM PST
Portugal - Primeira LigaBENFICA vs. GIL VICENTE09:00 AM PST
Spain - Segunda DivisionLEGANES vs. RECREATIVO09:15 AM PST
Greece - Super LeagueLEVADIAKOS vs. P THESSALONIKI09:30 AM PST
NFLVikings vs Dolphins10:00 AM PST
NFLRavens vs Texans10:00 AM PST
NFLLions vs Bears10:00 AM PST
NFLBrowns vs Panthers10:00 AM PST
NFLFalcons vs Saints10:00 AM PST
NFLPackers vs Buccaneers10:00 AM PST
NFLChiefs vs Steelers10:00 AM PST
NFLPatriots vs Jets10:00 AM PST
Spain - La LigaELCHE vs. MALAGA10:00 AM PST
Spain - Segunda DivisionVALLADOLID vs. BARCELONA B10:00 AM PST
Spain - Segunda DivisionU DEP LAS PALMAS vs. OSASUNA10:00 AM PST
Israel - Premier LeagueM TEL AVIV vs. M PETACH TIKVA10:15 AM PST
Bolivia - Liga Profesional BolivianaJ WILSTERMANN vs. NAC POTOSI11:00 AM PST
Portugal - Primeira LigaNAC MADEIRA vs. SPORTING11:15 AM PST
Italy - Serie AINTER vs. LAZIO11:45 AM PST
France - Ligue 1G BORDEAUX vs. O LYONNAIS12:00 PM PST
Peru - PrimeraSP CRISTAL vs. JUAN AURICH12:00 PM PST
Spain - La LigaATH BILBAO vs. ATL MADRID12:00 PM PST
NBAKnicks vs Raptors12:35 PM PST
Bolivia - Liga Profesional BolivianaBLOOMING vs. BOLIVAR1:00 PM PST
NFLGiants vs Rams1:05 PM PST
NFLBills vs Raiders1:25 PM PST
NFLColts vs Cowboys1:25 PM PST
Ecuador - Serie AEMELEC vs. BARCELONA1:30 PM PST
NBAGrizzlies vs Cavaliers1:35 PM PST
Colombia - Liga Postobon IIIND SANTA FE vs. IND MEDELLIN2:30 PM PST
NBA76ers vs Magic3:05 PM PST
NBACeltics vs Heat3:05 PM PST
NBAPistons vs Nets3:05 PM PST
NBALakers vs Kings3:05 PM PST
NBASuns vs Wizards3:05 PM PST
NBAPelicans vs Thunder4:05 PM PST
NBAPacers vs Timberwolves4:05 PM PST
NFLSeahawks vs Cardinals5:30 PM PST
Italy - SupercoppaJUVENTUS vs. NAPOLI09:00 AM PST
Greece - Super LeaguePANATHINAIKOS vs. AOK KERKYRA09:30 AM PST
Israel - Premier LeagueB JERUSALEM vs. H BEER SHEVA10:55 AM PST
College FootballBYU vs Memphis11:00 AM PST
Portugal - Primeira LigaSP BRAGA vs. P FERREIRA11:00 AM PST
Germany - 2nd BundesligaRB LEIPZIG vs. TSV 1860 MÃœNCHEN11:15 AM PST
England - Premier LeagueSTOKE vs. CHELSEA12:00 PM PST
Portugal - Primeira LigaRIO AVE vs. BELENENSES1:00 PM PST
NBANuggets vs Hornets4:05 PM PST
NBAJazz vs Grizzlies5:05 PM PST
NBARaptors vs Bulls5:05 PM PST
NBATrail Blazers vs Rockets5:05 PM PST
NFLBroncos vs Bengals5:30 PM PST
NBAHawks vs Mavericks5:35 PM PST
NBAClippers vs Spurs5:35 PM PST
NBAKings vs Warriors7:35 PM PST
College FootballNorthern Illinois vs Marshall3:00 PM PST
College FootballNavy vs San Diego State6:30 PM PST
College FootballCentral Michigan vs Western Kentucky09:00 AM PST
College FootballFresno State vs Rice5:00 PM PST
College FootballIllinois vs Louisiana Tech10:00 AM PST
College FootballRutgers vs North Carolina1:30 PM PST
College FootballNC State vs Central Florida5:00 PM PST
College FootballVirginia Tech vs Cincinnati10:00 AM PST
College FootballDuke vs Arizona State11:00 AM PST
College FootballMiami Florida vs South Carolina12:30 PM PST
College FootballPenn State vs Boston College1:30 PM PST
College FootballNebraska vs USC5:00 PM PST
College FootballWest Virginia vs Texas A&M11:00 AM PST
College FootballClemson vs Oklahoma2:30 PM PST
College FootballTexas vs Arkansas6:00 PM PST
College FootballNotre Dame vs LSU12:00 PM PST
College FootballLouisville vs Georgia3:30 PM PST
College FootballMaryland vs Stanford7:00 PM PST
College FootballMississippi vs TCU09:30 AM PST
College FootballBoise State vs Arizona1:00 PM PST
College FootballGeorgia Tech vs Mississippi State5:00 PM PST
College FootballWisconsin vs Auburn09:00 AM PST
College FootballMichigan State vs Baylor09:30 AM PST
College FootballMinnesota vs Missouri10:00 AM PST
College FootballFlorida State vs Oregon2:00 PM PST
College FootballOhio State vs Alabama5:30 PM PST
College FootballPittsburgh vs Houston09:00 AM PST
College FootballIowa vs Tennessee12:20 PM PST
College FootballUCLA vs Kansas State3:45 PM PST
College FootballOklahoma State vs Washington7:15 PM PST
College FootballEast Carolina vs Florida09:00 AM PST
College FootballToledo vs Arkansas State6:00 PM PST