Russell Westbrook on Wizards' Poor 3-Point Shooting vs. Celtics 'S--t Happens'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook dribbles the ball against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference Play-in game, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Russell Westbrook had a straightforward explanation for how the Washington Wizards went an ugly 3-of-21 from three-point range during Tuesday's 118-100 loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.

"I guess we just missed them tonight," he told reporters. "S--t happens."

It happened at quite the inopportune time for the Wizards, who looked like a completely different team than they did while going 17-6 in their final 23 regular season games. The poor shooting is a major reason Washington lost control in the second half after it built a lead by intermission.

Jayson Tatum was another reason.

Tatum scored 50 points, 23 of which came in the third quarter. He had more made three-pointers than Washington's entire team with five, as did Kemba Walker with six on his way to 29 points.

Fortunately for the Wizards, they swept the Indiana Pacers during the regular season and need to win just one game Thursday to make the playoffs. They will also have home-court advantage in the win-or-go-home showdown.

Indiana struggled down the stretch of the season but looked downright dominant during Tuesday's 144-117 victory over the Charlotte Hornets in the other play-in tournament game. Eight different Pacers scored in double figures, and Domantas Sabonis grabbed a head-turning 21 rebounds.

Washington will likely need to shoot much better than it did against the Celtics, otherwise Sabonis will likely control the glass once again.

Whoever wins Thursday's matchup will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.