WASHINGTON — It just doesn't make any sense.
On the road, without the starting backcourt, against one of the hottest teams in the East.
It was only fitting that the winning shot in Boston's 113-111 overtime victory come from an unlikely place - Gerald Wallace.
His driving layup with 2.5 seconds to play in overtime would be the difference for the Celtics (15-29) as they ended a three-game losing skid.
Jeff Green was a monster on the floor, tallying 39 points with a career-high eight 3-pointers.
Washington's John Wall had a triple-double of 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Wizards (20-21), who failed to get above .500 for the fifth time this season when the opportunity presented itself.
Phil Pressey, getting the starting nod with Rajon Rondo out because the Celtics didn't want him to play in back-to-back games just yet, had a career-high 20 points, which included a go-ahead 3-pointer with 52.4 seconds to play in overtime.
The Celtics rookie fouled out with 13.9 seconds to play, preventing Marcin Gortat from scoring on an easy layup or dunk.
It was a good foul considering Gortat made just the first of the two free throws which left the score tied at 111.
Boston's Jared Sullinger grabbed the rebound, and the Celtics immediately called a timeout with 9.8 seconds to play which set up Wallace's winning layup.
Making the victory all the more improbable was that it came with their starting backcourt of Avery Bradley (ankle) and Rondo (rest) both out.
Still, this game, like most of what Boston does, wasn't easy.
Despite leading by as many as 19, Boston soon found itself in another dog fight as the Wizards rallied back and took their first lead of the game on a four-point play by Martell Webster in the fourth quarter.
The two went back and fourth, each having opportunities to deliver potential game-clinching plays in the final seconds.
Boston had the ball with 10 seconds to play, but Green launched a long 3-pointer that hit the backboard only. It was rebounded by the Wizards who immediately called a time-out with 1.2 seconds to play.
Washington's Nene had a wide open jumper that hit the back of the rim as time expired. It was a similar shot he had taken - and missed - prior to Green misfiring for the Celtics.
Boston also prevented the Wizards (20-21) from going over .500 for the first time since the first week of the 2009-2010 season.
"It's not a magical thing [where] all of a sudden fairy dust is going to fall on us if we get over .500 [and] we're not going to lose another game," Wizards coach Randy Wittman told reporters recently.
But it is a tangible sign of progress, something the Celtics are desperately searching for in this season of struggle.
"We're tired of moral victories and good effort, good game stuff," Sullinger told CSNNE.com. "We need to win a game, soon."
They did just that on Wednesday as several Celtics chipped in for a much-needed victory.