BOSTON (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 25 points and the Celtics overcame 44 points from Bradley Beal to beat the Washington Wizards 140-133 on Wednesday night, Boston’s ninth straight victory.
Jayson Tatum bounced back from a historically bad shooting night with 23 points, Jaylen Brown scored 22 and Enes Kanter had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. Boston has not lost since the season-opener at Philadelphia, its longest streak since winning 16 in a row in the 2017-18 season.
Rui Hachimura scored 21 points and Davis Bertans had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who lost their third straight game, and for the sixth time in seven games. Former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who led Boston to the 2017 Eastern Conference finals, scored 18 and had seven assists.
Boston led by two at the half and made it a six-point game after three quarters. After Bertans hit a 3 to open the fourth and make it 102-99, the Celtics ran off the next 10 points.
Boston led by 16 points, 137-121, with 3:39 left in the game before the Wizards ran off 12 in a row. Walker hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to preserve the victory, and Hachimura missed a 3 at the other end.
Thomas received a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game. When he went to the free throw line in the fourth quarter, a few fans even broke out in an “M-V-P!” chant.
Celtics F Gordon Hayward watched from the bench, two days after he had surgery on his broken left hand. He is expected to miss six weeks.
Carsen Edwards, a second-round draft choice, had a career-high 18 points for Boston.
Wizards: Thomas was back for the third time since he was traded to Cleveland as part of the 2017 deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. He was inactive the first time, with Cleveland, and scored zero points in seven minutes when he returned with the Nuggets on March 18, 2018.
Celtics: Tatum was 1 for 18 in the victory over Dallas on Monday and then posted a picture of himself working on his shot later that night. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the second-worst shooting performance by a Celtics player in the last 65 seasons, and matched the second-worst shooting percentage by a player on a winning team in 65 years (minimum 15 shots). He was 9 for 20 from the field and 1 for 5 from 3-point range against Washington.
Wizards: Visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Celtics: Visit the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.