Sport

Isaiah Thomas on Wizards: 'We don't like them, they don't like us'

Isaiah Thomas on Wizards: 'We don't like them, they don't like us'

This merciless mind-set showed in every aspect of their play - the manner in which the Wizards raced for 16 points in transition (the team finished with 25 for the game) but especially in how they defended. "It basically came down to we had the ball, tie score with 14 or 15 seconds left [in Game 2]". At one point the TNT announcers vacillated between wondering if Wall was the second-best player in the East and then coming up with reasons why he might be better than Russell Westbrook. (18 points, eight rebounds), Markieff Morris (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Bojan Bogdanovic (13 points) all made their presence felt, too, giving Washington those much-needed third, fourth and fifth scoring options. In the second half, Beal took on the responsibility of guarding Celtics star Isaiah Thomas, holding him to only four points in the second half. The series is tied 2-2.

During the first three games of this series, the Wizards started quickly and held sizable leads.

Early leads are the norm for Washington against Boston, but this time the Wizards avoided a letdown, pushing the lead to 30 in the second half.

"Two stretches killed us on this trip to D.C.", Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

"It was all our defense".

"This series is going to be feisty", said Washington guard Brandon Jennings, who was ejected in the fourth quarter along with Boston's Terry Rozier for two double technical fouls. "We realized at halftime that we weren't defending the way we were capable of". Back-to-back Boston shot-clock violations started it and Otto Porter's layup on the break ended it. "On top of that, we converted".

Thomas had no answers.

"[The Wizards] were very physical", Thomas said, via ESPN. "The refs were allowing them to hold and grab and do all those things", said Thomas.

Only one Celtics guard per game is allowed to act like a lunatic, and Smart has seniority.

Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley each shot 2-for-9. Thomas scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half and took exception to the fact that he didn't get to the free-throw line in the game.

Removing him from the equation is the linchipin to all the good things that happened Sunday. With two big leads in their loses in Boston, the Wizards still feel as though they can get a victory in Boston. How can you make the shot? It's just basically what we've been doing, and just trying to get the ball out of his hands. The primary defender, usually Beal or Wall, locked and trailed from behind on screens and handoffs and a frontline player pinched in to funnel him into the big in the middle that typically was Gortat.

Thomas scored 33 and 53 points, respectively, in the series' first two games, but he was held to 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting during Game 3 as Washington turned up the defensive intensity and pressure.

Thomas' off-balance rainbows didn't hit the mark. He was also one of the sparks defensively in that massive third quarter, and he would finish the game with five steals.

The lack of size everywhere caught up to Boston at least in these two road games.

The Celtics have spoken about coming into this game as a must win, and that has a lot to do with how they lost game three. "They've been a great home team all year".

Tempers between the teams run hot with incidents dating back to last season and throughout the six contests this campaign, including four in the regular season.

"We can't respond that way", Brooks said. We were active, we were solid in our positioning.


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