88 - 104 Final
  for this game

Celtics handle lowly Wizards

Apr 9, 2011 - 4:25 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Boston Celtics topped the Washington Wizards, 104-88, at TD Garden.

"Yeah, that's nice to see," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said regarding all of his starters finishing in double figures. "I thought everyone offensively was pretty good. I think we shot 50 percent; we did. Just a good rhythm for most of the game."

Rajon Rondo posted 20 points with 14 assists and six steals while Nenad Krstic scored 17 for Boston, which is tied with the Miami Heat for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls clinched the top spot in the conference with a victory over Cleveland on Friday and the Heat and Celtics, both with three games remaining, will meet on Sunday.

John Wall and Andray Blatche both finished with 20 points for the Wizards, who have dropped consecutive games and fell to 3-37 on the road this season. Blatche grabbed 10 rebounds while Wall dished out seven assists.

Holding a slim 59-56 margin at the half, the Celtics opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run to expand their lead to double-digits. Boston's lead fluctuated between six and nine points for the next few minutes until a pair of Pierce free throws with 5:28 remaining put it at 77-67 and reached 13 a little later thanks to a pair from the line from Ray Allen.

The Wizards trailed 83-75 entering the fourth and after a Jamal Crawford layup with seven minutes remaining it was down to 87-83. The Celtics then went on an 17-2 run to expand their lead to a game-high 104-85.

"Well, we ran out of gas," Wizards coach Flip Saunders said. "I probably made a mistake, I told our guys...all of a sudden it went from a four point game to a ten or twelve point game, and we were fighting the rest of the way."

Boston shot 57 percent from the field in the first quarter and held a 28-23 lead after one. Crawford paced the Wizards with 11 points in the second as Washington cut its deficit to 59-56 at the half.

Game Notes

Crawford finished with 19 points and JaVale McGee scored 15 with 10 rebounds for Washington...Kevin Garnett scored 15 with 11 rebounds and Allen added 13 points for the victors...The Wizards will close out their season with visits from the Hawks and Celtics then head to Cleveland...After visiting Miami the Celtics will head to Washington then cap their season with the playoff-bound Knicks...The Celtics never trailed.