WASHINGTON — Indicative of the fast start they have jumped out to in the new season, the Boston Celtics made sure to to get out of the blocks quickly on Monday night so their star players could enjoy what amounted to nary a half a day in the office.
Jaylen Brown scored 36 points while fellow All-Star superstar Jayson Tatum scored 33 as the Celtics raced to a 126-107 victory over the Washington Wizards in the nation’s capital to start the season with their third consecutive victory. Kristaps Porzingis scored 15 points in his return to Washington as the Celtics opened up 23-point lead by the end of the first quarter and led by as many as 37.
“We’ve got a lot of talent. We’re going to be more talented than a lot of teams,” Brown said. “We just try to take advantage of all of our opportunities.”
Brown made sure to take advantage as early as possible, scoring 16 points in the first quarter as Boston opened up a 42-19 lead after the game’s first 12 minutes. Porzingis, who was traded to Boston in the offseason after a year-and-a-half stay with the Wizards, also scored in double digits in the first quarter with 10 points.
Brown finished the first half with 27 points, including knocking down seven of his 10 three-point attempts. He finished 8-of-13 from beyond the arc.
“We think it’s something we can control, the way we come out and start games,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said. “We just have too many good players and we have a chance. We’re really trying to make sure we come out with the right mindset the whole game. It doesn’t mean it’s going to go our way. I really liked our approach.”
Tatum then made sure no comeback was in the cards in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the frame while knocking down seven of eight shots from the field. The Celtics’ lead was 33 at the end of the third, 108-75, and Boston’s starters were able to sit the entire fourth quarter.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday evening’s event, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Yusuf Abdullah. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 24 pictures in total.