The Washington Wizards didn't lead tonight until there was only 2:30 left in the game. But this isn't NASCAR. Leading the most laps will earn you no points in the NBA. It only matters who has the lead when the clock strikes zero. Tonight, that would be the Wizards.
The lead at 2:30 came on a layup from John Wall as the rookie point guard was able to drive the length of the floor to take charge. On the very next possession, Wall kept the ball for himself once again, banking in a three-pointer to give the Wizards an 84-81 lead with under a minute to play. The Boston Celtics were never able to take the lead back after that point. Despite leading for the first 45 minutes of the game, the Celtics were defeated.
The ending may have been all Wall, but Rashard Lewis led all scorers tonight with 18 points, and also chipped in 11 rebounds, playing often from a power forward position. Wall and JaVale McGee each added 16 points in the win. In his first game as a Wizard and first action in the NBA, Mustafa Shakur had five points, all in the first half, in 10 minutes on the floor.
All four of Boston's top players scored in double-digits in the loss, including 17 points for Kevin Garnett, 16 for Ray Allen, 13 for Rajon Rondo, and 12 for Paul Pierce.
Rondo also had nine assists, outshining Wall's four on the stat sheet. But it was Wall's leadership down the stretch that made the difference tonight. This could be considered a landmark win for the Wizards, and its not one they'll forget quickly.