The Celtics and Wizards came into this game in Boston riding contrasting streaks.
Boston had lost seven of their last 11 while the Washington franchise seemed to have been gaining momentum, having won seven of their last eight including a 3-1 West Conference road trip.
To make matter worse for the Celtics, who were already without Marcus Smart, All-Star Jaylen Brown was also ruled out of the game.
Advantage Wizards, right? Wrong. It was the Celtics who led for a majority of this game but, in the end, needed some heroics to survive and win 111-110.
Clutch Jayson Tatum
The Celtics led all through the first three quarters but a Wizards comeback in the fourth meant the visitors held their largest lead of eight (106-98) with just 2:56 remaining on the game clock.
Remember the heroics we were discussing? That's when Tatum rose to the occasion.
The 22-year-old scored the team's final eight points, including the eventual game-winner, as the Celtics outscored the wWzards 13-4 in the final 2:56.
the will to win pic.twitter.com/VeI1TV17vM- Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 1, 2021
Secured the W with this @JetBlue Play of the Game. pic.twitter.com/i1ORI2Ds9x- Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 1, 2021
That final make was Tatum's third go-ahead field goal in the final seconds of a game this season - the most in the NBA.
He scored a team-high 31 points (12-22 FGs) while also recording eight rebounds, three assists and three steals, as only three Celtics scored in double figures - Kemba Walker (21 points), Daniel Theis (20 points).
Bradley Beal's unique streak continues
The league's leading-scorer Beal went off yet again, pulling off what looked like an effortless 46 points. However, yet again as he went off, the team struggled to pick up the win.
Bradley Beal extends his streak to 11 straight losses when scoring 40+ points.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 1, 2021
It's the longest streak in NBA history.
H/T @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/hmhaYlshNJ
"I tried to take it out of his hand when he got to 39," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said postgame. "It didn't work. I don't know. It's a strange stat."
For context, during the team's recent 7-1 run, Beal averaged 32.1 points with not a single game of scoring 40 or more.
In this one, Beal and Westbrook (24) combined for 70 of the team's points but also contributed for 10 of the team's 14 turnovers, which resulted in 17 points for the hosts. Davis Bertans was the other double-digit scorer with 20 in 26 minutes off the bench.
Celtics' first win streak
The victory marks the Celtics' first consecutive wins since Jan. 25.
"This is something we can build on," Tatum said postgame.
Wins have been hard to come by recently, so much so that the victory got this out of Brad Stevens postgame, "It's good to get a win on a day that ends in 'Y' right now."
From an execution in the clutch perspective, the Celtics couldn't have been better. Over the final 46.9 seconds, they scored quickly each time and then either forced the Wizards into a turnover or a missed shot.
"That was some of the goofiest s**t I've ever seen in my life," Beal said postgame, referring to the Wizards' closing stretch.
Whether Boston has turned a corner or this was a short-lived two-game streak, will be tested in their next match when the Celtics host the LA Clippers on Tuesday (E.T.).
On the other hand, the Wizards will look to get back on track as they host the Grizzlies on Tuesday (E.T.).
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