Short-handed Celtics hand Wizards a loss

Boston Celtics' Jermaine O'Neal attempts to block Washington Wizards' JaVale McGee during the first...

Boston Celtics' Jermaine O'Neal attempts to block Washington Wizards' JaVale McGee during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Washington, Jan. 22, 2012. (REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

Sports Direct

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

Paul Pierce scored 14 of his season-high 34 points in the fourth quarter and added 10 assists and eight rebounds as the shorthanded Boston Celtics posted a 100-94 victory over the host Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Kevin Garnett added 17 points and Brandon Bass chipped in 13 points and nine boards for the Celtics, who were without Rajon Rondo for the second straight game due to a wrist injury.

Making matters worse, Ray Allen was forced out of the game early in the second quarter with a jammed left ankle.

Boston led by as many as 15 points (61-46) in the third quarter, but let the Wizards back into the game in the fourth.

Nick Young’s three-point play gave Washington an 84-83 edge with 6:05 left. Pierce got the lead right back for the Celtics, knocking down a jumper to spark an 8-2 run over the next three minutes.

The Wizards would make it a one-possession game again (97-94) with 22 seconds left, but Boston hit three free throws in the final 19.5 seconds to put it away.

Pierce finished 10 of 15 from the field and 12 of 15 from the free throw line.

John Wall collected 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for Washington.


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