"Circumstances were taxing enough for the Washington Wizards, playing their second game in as many nights and third in four days. Then consider that the opponent was reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston, and the degree of difficulty swelled that much more.
Yet in an improbable turn, the Wizards overcame what seemed a blueprint for certain failure by scoring their most consequential victory this season, 85-83, on Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 20,278 at Verizon Center, which at times had the ambience of a Celtics home game.
Prized rookie point guard John Wall provided the winning points with a three-pointer off the glass with 57 seconds left to break a tie at 81. When the ball fell through the netting as the shot clock expired, Wall raised both arms, igniting a raucous ovation after Washington's first and only three-pointer of the game provided the defining moment to date of his brief professional career.
"I didn't call it," Wall said of his unlikely game-winner, which also gave the Wizards their first lead. "I knew it was going to hit backboard, but I thought it was going to be a hard brick. It could have broke the backboard, but luckily it went in for us, and it was a momentum changer."
After Kevin Garnett's layup whittled the margin to one, the Celtics had a chance to go ahead on Paul Pierce's jumper, but his shot rattled off the rim with three seconds to play, and Wall completed the scoring by making 1 of 2 foul shots to end Boston's five-game winning streak and curtail Washington's losing skid at two.
Wall finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists and managed to stay in the game when it mattered most despite five personal fouls. Rashard Lewis, playing with tendinitis in his right knee, had game highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards (13-29), who improved to 13-9 at home and logged their second win of the season against a team with a winning record at the time.
Garnett finished with 17 points for Boston (33-10), which also got 16 points from Ray Allen and 13 points and nine assists from Rajon Rondo, who along with Pierce weathered foul trouble in the second half. Boston shot 43 percent, well below its 50.5 mark coming into the game, and missed 11 of 15 three-pointers. "
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...012204315.html