Rozier-Jennings dust-up provides spark for Celtics in win vs. Wizards

Rozier-Jennings dust-up provides spark for Celtics in win vs. Wizards

BOSTON – With the score tied at 37-all in the second quarter, the first significant dust-up between Boston and Washington players happened.

It was Boston’s Terry Rozier and Washington’s Brandon Jennings getting into a shoving match that ultimately led to both being whistled for technical fouls and Jennings also charged with a personal foul.

Up to this point, neither team had shown any signs of pulling away.

But from the time the dust cleared and play resumed, the Celtics weren’t the same.

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They were more physical, feisty, more locked in to doing anything and everything to beat a Wizards team that had won two of their three previous matchups.

And Washington couldn’t match that effort or intensity as Boston continued to pull away and lead by as many as 20 points before settling for a 110-102 victory.

“It sparked us a little bit,” Boston’s Jae Crowder said of the incident involving Rozier and Jennings. “We were able to play with a little more aggression.”

Boston scored six straight after the Rozier-Jennings technical, closing the half out with a 21-10 run to lead 58-47 at the half.

“When the emotions got high," Crowder said. "We kept the course and played great team basketball.”

And the emotions that Crowder spoke about, that has been an issue with the Celtics at various points this season.

Whether it’s losing their cool with other players, officials or one another, finding that balance that exists between playing with a fiery edge while not losing control, is one that that has tripped them up at times.

Not tonight; not against this team.

But players acknowledged after the game that there’s still room for improvement in that area.

“We gotta get better at that,” Boston’s Isaiah Thomas told CSNNE.com following the win. “Coach (Brad Stevens) is really on us about that and we’re on each other about that.”

On Monday, the Celtics were called for a total of four technicals – one against Rozier, Thomas, Amir Johnson and Marcus Smart – compared to the Wizards who were whistled for just the Jennings technical.

“In the playoffs, we’re not going to get anything,” Thomas said. “We just can’t continue to argue and continue to make us not play as well. We’re trying to get better. And today was one of those games where we held our composure a little bit better other than the technicals."

Stars, studs and duds: Another brilliant performance by Thomas

Stars, studs and duds: Another brilliant performance by Thomas

CHICAGO –  Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 104-95 Game 4 win over Chicago.
 
 
STARS
 
Isaiah Thomas

It was yet another brilliant performance by Thomas who has established himself as the most impactful performer in this series. He led the Celtics with 33 points on 10-for-21 shooting with seven assists.
 
Jimmy Butler

He matched Isaiah Thomas in terms of points, but didn’t get nearly as much help from those around him. Butler’s 33 points primarily came from the free throw line where he was 19-for-23. The 23 attempts ranks third all-time among Celtics playoff opponents from the line.
 
 
STUDS
 
Gerald Green

His scoring at the start of the game really set the tone for Boston. He finished with 18 points, 16 of which came in the first half.
 
Al Horford

For the second straight game, Horford was a decisive winner in the battle at center with Robin Lopez. He had a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds to go with four assists and a blocked shot.
 
Kelly Olynyk

He didn’t play major minutes, but certainly was an important key in Boston getting the victory. He made all four of his shots from the field, finishing with 10 points to go with three rebounds and a blocked shot.
 

DUDS
 
Chicago’s point guards

Jerian Grant was an absolute disaster as a starter, missing all three of his shot attempts in less than five minutes of action. His backup, Michael Carter-Williams, wasn’t much better, either. Isaiah Canaan (13 points) was their best option and should be the starter for them in Game 5.

Jimmy Butler on Marcus Smart: 'He's a great actor, acting tough'

Jimmy Butler on Marcus Smart: 'He's a great actor, acting tough'

Jimmy Butler ripped Marcus Smart after Smart got in Butler's face during Game 4.

"As far as the Marcus Smart situation goes, he's a great actor," Butler said. "Acting tough, that's what he does. But I don't think he's about that, and I just don't think -- I'm the wrong guy to get in my face. He needs to take it somewhere else, because I'm not the one for that."

The two players confronted each other during the first half. They exhanged shoves before quickly getting separated by referees. The officials kept the dustup from escalating despite more Celtics and Bulls players getting into the mix.

Butler, who finished the game with 33 points, said he has no interest in getting into it with Smart again.

"That's the first time. The last time, too," Butler said. "We're not going to sit here and get in each other's faces. I'm not about that life, so he's calming down."