BOSTON — Avery Bradley scored a career-high 23 points, and Paul Pierce added 21 points and eight rebounds for the short-handed Boston Celtics in an 88-76 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night.
Boston was without guards Ray Allen (ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (head injury) but still had plenty to hold off the struggling Wizards.
Rajon Rondo had 11 assists, while Kevin Garnett finished with 10 points and six assists for the Celtics, who shot 22 for 34 (65 percent) in the first half. Boston led by as much as 25 before cooling off in the second half. The Celtics allowed Washington to get as close as eight, but ended the threat quickly and won for the third time in four games.
Jordan Crawford scored 20 points, and Kevin Seraphin had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Washington. John Wall added 12 points and nine assists, and Trevor Booker pulled down nine rebounds. The Wizards played without recently acquired Nene, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds Saturday in a loss at Atlanta.
Bradley’s previous high was 22, scored against New York last April. He hadn’t scored more than 12 in a game this season and passed that in the first quarter, making his first seven shots. Bradley had 19 at halftime and reached his career high on a 21-foot jumper to open the third quarter, putting the Celtics up 55-34.
The Wizards responded with a 13-0 run, shutting out the Celtics for 5:17. Crawford converted a three-point play with 7:56 left in the third to cut it to 55-43, Seraphin scored on a putback for Washington’s 11th straight point and then after Pierce turned it over at the top of the key, Crawford hit a long jumper to cut the lead to 55-47.
The game of streaks continued as the Celtics scored the next 10 points. Garnett stopped the drought with a pair of free throws with 5:17 left, Pierce hit a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play, and Bass added a jumper to put the Celtics back up 65-47.
The Celtics led 69-55 at the end of the third and didn’t let the Wizards get closer than 10 in the final period.
Notes: Washington’s 34 points in the first half was just two better than its season low. ... Bradley scored 10 of the Celtics’ first 15 points ... The Celtics led 27-12 after the first period. ... Greg Stiemsma added 10 points for the Celtics. ... Both teams had 15 turnovers.