Boston (USA), May 18 (EFE) .- Power forward Jayson Tatum shines with 50 points, including 32 in the second half, and the Boston Celtics easily beat the Washington Wizards 118-100 in the second Eastern Conference playoff play-in game that secured him seventh place in postseason competition.
Boston opened the second half with a streak of 22-4, which gave them a partial advantage of 74-58, which would be decisive after the break had fallen on the scoreboard with a partial of 52-54.
Washington came close to a 91-84 run in the fourth quarter, but Boston responded with another 15-6 streak that increased it to 106-88 with 5:32 minutes left and it all worked out in their favor.
Despite losing the game, the Washington team will have the opportunity to play the third play-in against the Indiana Pacers who beat Charlotte Hornets 144-117.
The duel will be on Friday, in the nation’s capital, and will define the team that occupies the eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will have as a rival in the first round the Philadelphia Sixers, the best record during the regular season.
While the Celtics began to think about the Brooklyn Nets, second classified in the Eastern Conference, with whom they will face, starting Saturday, in the first round, being the visiting team and without having the advantage of the field.
Tatum played 41 minutes in which he scored 14 of 32 shots from the field, including 5 of 12 3-point attempts, and was perfect from the personnel line (17-17).
In addition, he also played a leading role in the inside game with eight rebounds, including six defenders, he distributed four assists, recovered a ball, lost another two, put two blocks and was barely called a personal foul.
Tatum has scored 40 or more points five times this season. They outscored the Wizards 38-26 in the third quarter. He scored 14 points on Washington’s 11 turnovers in the first half.
Point guard Kemba Walker added 29 points, including six 3-of-14 attempts, as Boston’s second leading scorer, and also made himself felt inside the paint by grabbing seven rebounds.
Canadian center Tristan Thompson became the sixth player by contributing a double-double of 12 points, 12 rebounds and two assists, in the 30 minutes he played as reserve.
No other Celtics player after Tatum, Walker and Thompson broke the 10-point barrier, and as a team Boston barely managed 40 percent on field goals.
Guard Bradley Beal with 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists finished as the leader of the attack for the Wizards, who also did not have his best inspiration as a team.
The All-Star point guard, Russell Westbrook, could not be a winning factor either, despite having a double-double of 20 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, recovered three balls, lost four, put two blocks and committed five personal fouls.
The reserve Ish Smith with 17 points was the sixth player for the Wizards, who also had the support of center Daniel Gafford, who came off the bench and reached 12 points and captured five rebounds that left him as the fourth Washington player to achieve two-digit numbers.
Brazilian guard Raúl Neto, who started with the Wizards after missing the previous two games through injury, went without scoring after missing both field goals, including a 3-point attempt, caught a rebound, gave an assists, lost two balls and committed two personal fouls.
Beal and Westbrook also didn’t start the game well on offense, combining for six points on 2 of 9 shots in the first quarter.
(c) EFE Agency