Three reasons to smile

March, 8, 2010
3/08/10
3:30
AM ET
video

After another lackluster and largely uninspired effort against a mediocre team on their home court, you half-expect the Boston Celtics to be disappointed in a come-from-behind victory over the Washington Wizards.

But while openly admitting that there are no excuses for their play over the first 42 minutes of Sunday's game, the Celtics viewed the glass as decidedly half-full after rallying from a 13-point deficit for an 86-83 triumph at TD Garden.

"You could probably say, in a small way, we did [get away with one], but we fought for it," said Ray Allen, who scored 18 of his game-high 25 points after the intermission, including a pair of pivotal 3-pointers in the final two minutes. "We never gave up or thought it was over.

"I compare my feeling now opposed to if we lost that game. It definitely makes my food later taste a lot better. We just keep building, keep building. I have been reflecting on the championship year -- losing to Washington three times, Charlotte beat us a couple times, and we were just so dejected because of it. But sometimes it's just matchups, guys get hot. I think [Andray] Blatche and [Al] Thornton got hot tonight. We just have to move forward and continue working on our defense."

With that defense in mind, here are three reasons the Celtics came away content with Sunday's victory:

1. Before Sunday, the 2009-10 Celtics lost this type of game: From the opening tip, Sunday's game felt eerily like last Saturday's loss to the New Jersey Nets. Here's the big difference: Unlike the Nets' loss, it didn't feel like the Celtics were ever going to produce the come-from-behind rally Sunday. Some fans even left with the team down 13 with less than six minutes to play.

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Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9