Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards: Lineups, preview & prediction 2/8/18

A pair of Eastern Conference division leaders looking to bounce back from losses meet Thursday night when the Washington Wizards host the Boston Celtics.

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(Photo credit: Keith Allison)

The Wizards (31-23) had a season-high five-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night in Philadelphia with a 115-102 defeat to the 76ers. Bradley Beal scored 30 points and Otto Porter added 17 for Washington, who fell behind 26-7 in the first 8:11 of the contest and never recovered after trailing by 17 after the first quarter.

It was the first time in six games the Southeast-leading Wizards lost since starting point guard John Wall underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. Tomas Satoransky, who had been a key component of Washington’s win streak as Wall’s replacement, was held to six points and three assists after averaging 9.8 and 5.4, respectively, in the five wins.

Boston (39-16) are atop the Eastern Conference but had their lead atop the Atlantic Division shaved to one game after being routed 111-91 on Tuesday night by their closest pursuers, the Toronto Raptors.

Kyrie Irving returned after missing three games with a bruised quadriceps and scored 17 points in 22 minutes, but his lack of pace was severely exploited by the Raptors as counterpart Kyle Lowry hit six 3-pointers. While Boston’s reserves were outscored only 59-51, it was Toronto’s bench who broke open the game in the second quarter when the Raptors stormed to a 58-37 halftime lead.

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Celtics, who are trying to salvage a split of this two-game road swing that’s part of a difficult four-game gauntlet that also features home games against Indiana and Irving’s former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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