Isaiah Thomas (knee) back in starting lineup for game vs. Wizards

Isaiah Thomas (knee) back in starting lineup for game vs. Wizards

The Celtics would not only increase their lead in the overall standings to 2.5 games over Washington with a win Monday, but they would build an nearly insurmountable four-game edge in the Conference record standings with just 11 games to go.

Fantasy Impact Thomas missed the last two games with what is described as a bone bruise on his knee.

"We knew it was going to be one of those games", Thomas said.

"With the group that we have, there is nearly zero margin for error - especially when you play (a good team like Boston)", Brown said. "As a team, we did a good job, I feel, in the fourth of rebounding and guarding them down the stretch".

Expect for the game to be tight and chippy through the first half.

Boston is 21-7 when it has its preferred starting five of Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford, and Amir Johnson together.

"It's a big game", Thomas said. "Nobody did anything dirty". Boston and Washington are jostling for a top three seed headed into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Horford had averaged 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds in 27 career games against the Sixers.

The Wizards trailed by 15 with just more than four minutes left, but closed to 106-100 on Kelly Oubre Jr.'s steal and breakaway dunk with 2:05 to play.

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Marcus Smart raced in for a lay-up that brought the Celtics back within three, but Stauskas summoned up clutch touch from beyond the arc once more. Both got a technical. "I've heard worse than that before and vulgar words have been said, which weren't said then, and then they just slap a technical foul". This is nearly always a decision by management (the GM, team trainers, and the coach) and the players are informed they are sitting. Whether it's one player having a awful game, or the whole team getting down early, the Wizards just haven't been playing like they were before the All-Star break.

Regardless of what is hoped for at the end of the game, everybody is looking for a good game between these two. Crowder pointed his finger in Wall's face, and Wall slapped at him.

Wall was unhappy after his 14th technical of the season, two shy of the mandatory one-game suspension.

Thirteen days later, they played The Funeral Game. It's the last game between the teams in the regular season and the Wizards have a 2-1 advantage head-to-head.

Bradley added six points in that spurt, which left the Celtics with a 51-44 lead. T.J. McConnell and Covington took care of the rest.

"I don't think so", said Stevens. "We deserved that, and the better team won today".

Wizards: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. He had to figure out how to make sense out of a roster that would need to feature three rookies (then two, then one) and had four centers (then three, then two) all deserving big minutes.

Celtics: Host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

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