In a game the Washington Wizards expected to win, they came out firing and leaving no doubt, bullying the Boston Celtics all night long to win, 101-88.
Washington faced a Celtics team that have given them fits recently, with their last meeting requiring double overtime, however, tonight's affair was one sided throughout.
"We really came out focused from the start. We were able to get out on the break, get some easy baskets. A good win coming after the game on Christmas," said Wizards' head coach Randy Wittman.
In a game the Wizards had to have, when looking ahead at their treacherous road trip, they seized the game from the beginning, jumping out to a 15-2 lead in the first four minutes of action.
In front of a sellout Verizon Center crowd, Washington closed out their 2014 home slate in impressive fashion. The dominating win gives the Wizards a 14-4 record at home to start the season.
Wizards' small forward, and former Celtic great, Paul Pierce had one of his better offensive games of the season with 17 points, while Washington big man Kris Humphries scored a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds.
The win gives the Wizards their eighth win in the last ten games and improves their record to 21-8, good for the third seed in the Eastern conference.
It was apparent the Boston Celtics, in their fifth game without Rajon Rondo, were experimenting with their lineup and had no ability to compete with a superior Wizards team.
John Wall continued his acrobatic ways with another spin-o-rama lay up in the first quarter, as he continues his quest to make the extraordinary look ordinary for his skills. When asked about his recent use of the spin move, the star point guard's answer was simple.
"I just go off instincts," said Wall, who finished the game with 12 points and seven assists in just 28 minutes of work, as he and most of the starters rested in the fourth quarter of the blowout win.
"[It is] always good, whether you have five games in seven nights coming up or not. Anytime in an 82 game schedule you can get your starters to play under 30 minutes [it's good]," said Wittman.
As good as the early season has been for Washington, their biggest test of the year lies ahead. The Wizards, who have played a league low 11 away games, hit the road for five straight against the elite teams of the Western conference.
Washington will travel to play, in grueling order, the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the San Antonio Spurs. After they presumably survive those four games, they wrap up the road trip at New Orleans to take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.
"This is key for us. This is an early start to let us know our identity of the team. See how we rank against the best teams in the league, we have some great competition and we have to go out compete," said Wall.
As formidable as the Wizards and John Wall have played through the first part of the season, they will quickly find out how good they really are against the top teams in the NBA. Wall says the key for Washington is just taking it one game at a time.
"We know it is going to be tough trip, we just have to lock in and stay focused."