National Basketball Association
Washington at Boston
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
The Washington Wizards can clinch the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a win in the finale of the regular season at Boston on Wednesday. Washington has won three in a row to keep the surging Charlotte Bobcats in seventh place by a game, but the Bobcats own the tiebreaker if the teams tie on the final day of the season. The Wizards, who could also leap to the No. 5 seed if Brooklyn loses its final two games, took advantage of a Miami Heat team that was resting some regulars to secure a 114-93 win on Monday, ending their home schedule with a 22-19 record.
Washington's road record would be the exact same if it can defeat the Celtics, who were crushed 118-92 in the nation's capitol in the previous meeting April 2. That was part of a 6-22 slide for Boston, which included a 113-108 setback at Philadelphia on Monday that left the Celtics with a 9-32 road record, their worst away from home since 1999-2000. Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 28 points and Avery Bradley continued his promising stretch run with 23 points in the loss.
8 p.m. ET, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), CSN New England (Boston)ABOUT THE WIZARDS (43-38):
Forward Trevor Ariza scored 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting to spark a 59 percent showing from the field against Miami, but Washington knew it was not getting the best that the Heat had to offer. "Nothing to be excited about. ... It was more like a scrimmage game than a big battle," said center Marcin Gortat, who had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Avoiding a fall into seventh place would allow the Wizards to avoid the defending champs in the first round.ABOUT THE CELTICS (25-56):
Injuries have slowed Bradley's progress as a pro, but he has returned from an Achilles ailment to finish strong and perhaps set a precedent for a more significant role next season. The fourth-year guard, who already has a reputation as a standout defender, has scored at least 22 points in each of the four games since coming back from the latest injury and has shown an increased aggressiveness from beyond the arc. Although Bradley made just two of a career-high 11 attempts against the 76ers, he is 15-for-27 from beyond the arc in the four-game surge.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Ariza is 15-for-20 from the field in his last two games after going 4-for-25 in the previous three contests.
2. Celtics C Jared Sullinger (ankle), C Kris Humphries (knee) and G Jerryd Bayless (knee) have missed the last two games and are considered questionable.
3. Washington shot a season-high 62.5 percent in the rout of Boston earlier this month.PREDICTION:
Wizards 105, Celtics 99
Stats and Records