For whatever reason, the Wizards find ways to not beat teams that they should at Verizon Center. They had to erase a 19-point deficit in the first half, blew a chance to win it in regulation and ultimately didn't get past .500 against the Boston Celtics, who won just their second game this month.
The Wizards (20-21) haven't had a winning record this late in a season since January 2008. John Wall has played 225 games since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2010 without a winning record at any point, third-most in NBA history. This was the fourth time this season the Wizards could've gone over .500 and failed to do so, all games occurring at home.
Wall overcame a miserable start to post his first triple-double since his rookie season with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Still, he only shot 9-for-29 and had six of his team's 18 turnovers.
Trevor Ariza buried a three-pointer on a feed from Bradley Beal to put Washington ahead 99-96 in regulation, but Jeff Green responded with an off-balance heave that was well contested to tie the score. Kris Humphries missed a go-ahead bucket for Boston as did Nene for Washington. Then Green had a chance and didn't touch the rim on his next shot. Nene had another chance with one second left, but he bricked the shot again. It was a back-and-forth game in overtime but Gerald Wallace drove the length of the court for a shot at the rim for the winning shot. Wall had the final shot, a three-pointer at the buzzer with just 2.5 seconds left, but it wasn't close.
The Celtics (15-29) didn't have Rajon Rondo, their starting point guard who was sitting out the second game of a back-to-back. Rondo recently returned from right knee surgery. He was replaced by Phil Pressey, an undrafted rookie who had a career performance with 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including 5-for-6 from three-point range, and four assists. Green, who played here at Georgetown, led all scorers with 39 points on 14-for-26 shooting, including 8-for-16 on threes.
Turning point: After Martell Webster tied the score at 108 with a corner three with 1:12 left in overtime, Pressey drilled a three-pointer in response. Coming into the game, Pressey had been 6-for-38 from deep. The Celtics never trailed again.
Personnel decisions: Trevor Booker (sprained left ankle) returned after missing one game. He came off the bench to contributed nine points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes for the Wizards. Eric Maynor, Otto Porter, Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely did not play. ... After signing a 10-day contract late Tuesday with Boston, Vander Blue played four minutes in the first half and scored two points.
From the locker room: "We played a half of basketball. I'm at a loss. First half, we came out as individuals. No one would pass the ball to one another. We dribbled the ball all over the place and then when we did pass it, it was to a guy with two seconds on the shot clock behind the three-point line. ... Then we come out in the second half and play the right way. Ball movement. Didn't care who got the shot. Didn't care. And that's basically it. And that's what costs you games like this. They throw in a couple shots in at the end and our guys will say, 'That's what beat us,' but that isn't what beat us. Until we get over that hump of looking at games and saying or trying to decided yourselves, 'This is a game I'm going to get mine tonight,' we're going to fluctuate." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman
"Gerald is a forceful driver. He's going to get where he wants to go. There was a kick-out option if there was help, but there probably isn't going to be help in that situation. Everybody did their job exceptionally well on that play. ... We threw in shots off one foot, fading out of bounds and they missed a couple wide-open ones. Sometimes we over-analyze this game." -- Celtics coach Brad Stevens on the game-winning shot
"We came out with now energy, no focus, and they made a lot of shots. And on top of that we were not playing the way we have normally been playing. We were selfish in the first half. It was a very winnable game from start to finish. We put ourselves in a hole, mainly because of the starters for sure. ... We made a lot of dumb plays. A lot of selfish plays down the stretch that we have to try to eliminate." -- Beal
"It starts with me. I took too many shots tonight and we didn't move the ball like we're supposed to in the first half. ... That's not the way to lead your team." -- Wall
Up next: The Wizards will shoot around Thursday before leaving for a four-game, seven-day road trip that begins at the Phoenix Suns on Friday (CSN+, 9 p.m. ET).