One thing's for sure. The Boston Celtics camp has not been carrying the best locker room atmosphere of late. But their latest 107-96 win over the Washington Wizards to snap a four-game losing streak might provide them some much-needed repose.
"Tonight was fun for everybody. You could see that," said Marcus Smart, "Tonight the ball was popping. It was moving. We made every right play."
Boston held the Wizards to just 15 points in the final period for just their fourth win in the last ten games, and they find themselves down at the 5th spot on the East leaderboard.
"I just was happy to see the effort from everyone. Guys were diving on the floor, really getting after it," Horford said.
Brad Stevens' men are now 38-25(0.603) on the season, very likely to not fall lower than their current position considering the gap that separates the sixth place Brooklyn Nets and themselves.
On the other hand, the ailing Wizards have now fallen 4 games behind the eighth-seeded Hornets in the East, with a playoff berth looking highly unlikely from this point on. The loss takes them to a subpar 25-37 win-loss record on the season, as they remain stuck at the 11th position on the Conference standings.
On that note, let's take a look at few of the major talking points from the encounter:
#1 Uncle Drew's bad shooting night
Coming into this one, Kyrie Irving had been averaging a sliver above 21 points for the past 10 games. However, he could only manage 13 in this home win. In order to make up for the scoring deficiency, Irving dished out 12 dimes and pulled down 6 boards, despite shooting 6-of-15 from the field and a forgettable 1-of-3 night from downtown as well.
Seven Celtics players finished in double-digits scoring, led by veteran center Al Horford's 18 points in just 29 minutes. What really separated the hosts from their opposition was that the Celtics, as a unit, came up with 12 steals during the game, forcing the Wizards to commit 18 turnovers.
"Turnovers were the difference. I thought we actually played a really solid defensive game against a team that's loaded with a lot of talent," Washington coach Scott Brooks said. "We game them so many easy opportunities."