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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Rapid Reaction: C's 113, Wizards 111 (OT)

By Chris Forsberg

Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards 113-111 on Wednesday night at the Verizon Center:

THE NITTY GRITTY
A shorthanded Celtics squad leaned heavily on Jeff Green (season-high 39 points on 14-of-26 shooting, including 8-of-16 beyond the arc; finally he shines in the solo spotlight), while rookie Phil Pressey scored a career-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting while connecting on five 3-pointers (nearly doubling his season total). Gerald Wallace, starting in place of injured Avery Bradley, handed out a team-high nine assists, then called his own number while driving for the winning layup with 2.5 seconds to play in overtime. John Wall posted a triple-double (28 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) to pace Washington, while Marcin Gortat (10 points, 13 rebounds) added a double-double but the Wizards failed to get above .500 for the fifth time this season.

TURNING POINT
The Celtics led by as much as 19 (and 18 at the intermission), but Wall and the Wizards dominated the third quarter while rallying within a possession. Boston didn't trail for the first 41-plus minutes of the game, but the final 11:37 (6:37 of regulation and overtime) featured four lead changes and 10 ties before Wallace muscled his way to the rim and put home the winner late in the extra session. Wall's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark allowing Boston to escape with only its second win of the month.

LOOSE BALLS
This was Boston's first overtime game of the season. The Celtics set a franchise record with a whopping 11 overtime games last season. ... The Celtics connected on 15 triples, shooting 44.1 percent beyond the 3-point arc. ... Rookie Vitor Faverani was the only available player that did not see floor time. ... Rajon Rondo did not dress as a precaution on the second night of a back-to-back, while Jerryd Bayless (sprained toe), Bradley (sprained right ankle) and Keith Bogans (excused from team) all were inactive.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (15-29) snapped a three-game losing streak while winning for only the second time in their last 14 games (all while playing with a depleted roster that saw minutes for recent D-League additions in Chris Johnson and Vander Blue). Boston will take Thursday off coming off this back-to-back before hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at TD Garden. A reunion visit from old friends Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce looms on Sunday.