WASHINGTON (AP) - A night after what their coach called a ''flatgame,'' Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics held the Washington Wizardsto 1-for-14 shooting at the start, then were barely better at the end.
Strong defensive stands early - Washington's only scoring in thefirst 8 minutes came on Garnett's goaltending call - and late, plus PaulPierce's 27 points, including a key 3 down the stretch, helped theCeltics beat the Wizards 89-86 on Saturday for their first victory.
Boston is 1-2. Washington dropped to 0-2 after its home opener infront of a sellout crowd of 20,308 that occasionally included folkschanting ''Let's go, Celtics!'' Washington is still without twostarters: point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010draft, and center Nene.
Bradley Beal, the No. 3 overall pick this year, missed all five ofhis shots and scored two points for the Wizards, while backup JordanCrawford led the hosts with 21 points. Another reserve, Kevin Seraphin,played after being sidelined by a right calf injury for their seasonopener and made his first seven shots, finishing with 19 points. ButSeraphin also threw the ball away with Washington down one point and 28seconds left.
Cartier Martin scored five consecutive points during a 16-4 run thatput Washington ahead 86-84 on Seraphin's turnaround 12-footer with alittle under 3 minutes remaining. With thousands in the stands askingfor ''De-fense! De-fense!'' Pierce made a 3-pointer to give Boston backthe lead with 2½ minutes left.
Neither team managed to score until Jason Terry's two free throws with 1.2 seconds left padded Boston's lead.
Garnett scored 15, and Rajon Rondo added 12 points and 12 assists.
Wall has a knee injury and is expected to miss another month or so,while Nene is out with a foot problem and no one is quite sure whenhe'll be back. Both are really missed on offense, which was apparent notonly with the way Washington opened the game, but also by checking theassists column on the stat sheet: The starting five combined for a grandtotal of one assist in the first half.
Yes, the Wizards got points less than 1½ minutes in, but that wasbecause Garnett was called for goaltending on a short shot by EmekaOkafor. Otherwise, Washington missed 13 of its first 14 field-goalattempts. That run of futility included shanked 3-pointers and midrangejumpers, layups and putbacks. Even a dunk.
A 19-foot jumper by Rondo put Boston ahead 17-2 with a little lessthan 4½ minutes left in the first quarter. By then, three Celtics -Garnett, Pierce and rookie Jared Sullinger - each had at least twice asmany points as the entire Wizards roster.
Only then did Washington wake up, with Trevor Booker completing athree-point play with a finger roll while being fouled by Sullinger with3:53 to go in the quarter.
The Celtics led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter at 24-8,and the period ended with the visitors ahead 26-12. Washington gathereditself and got as close as five in the second before trailing 49-42 athalftime.
Before the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his team's 99-88 loss at home to Milwaukee on Friday ''wasn't pretty.''
''You just never know why you have flat games,'' he said. ''And thatclearly was a flat game. I don't think anybody came to the game andsaid, 'You know what? I'm not going to play hard.' This team doesn'thave that problem.''