Markieff Morris fought through a left ankle sprain to play in Game 2 in Boston on Tuesday night.
So when the Washington Wizards let up a six-point lead in the final three minutes and scored just five points in overtime en route to a 129-119 loss to the Celtics, the rugged power forward questioned his team's late-game toughness.
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"We're not playing tough enough," Morris, who finished with 16 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes before fouling out in overtime, told reporters in Boston. "We had the advantage late in the game and all we had to do was just play tough. We didn't have to make shots. We didn't have to get stops. All we had to do was play tough. We let them get offensive rebounds late in the game. Guys (were) just walking to the basket and we're just worried about our own personal (expletive). It's about the team.
"At the end of the day it's about winning and we didn't care too much about that tonight. We let them back in the game. We've got to regroup and get the next one."
The Wizards outrebounded the Celtics 44-41 on the night, but late in the game let up some key offensive boards and were outhustled on a few 50-50 balls, helping Boston climb back in to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"We emphasized (getting 50-50 balls) when we watched film that that's what they do when they go (with a smaller lineup)," Morris said. "They play tough. They've got guys that are going in head first. That's what we've got to do. It's the playoffs. Every possession counts."
Wizards coach Scott Brooks viewed the game a bit differently.
"It was a heck of a basketball game," Brooks said. "Two teams played their hearts out. Two great players (John Wall: 40 points; Isaiah Thomas: 53 points) played well. I thought both teams competed, played their hearts out. Nothing to be ashamed of. We lost both games, now we've got to go home and take care of Game 3. We have to play with the same type of effort. Hopefully we have some things go our way, get some breaks here and there, and maybe we can make it a 2-1 series going into Game 4."
Game 3 — a must-win for the Wizards, no doubt — is Thursday night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) in Washington.
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