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Celtics slip past Wizards

Jayson Tatum fires 35 points to power the Boston Celtics to a 133-129 win over the Washington Wizards in their NBA regular season game. | BRIAN BABINEAU/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — The Boston Celtics shook off a sluggish start, using a dominant third quarter to take control against the lowly Washington Wizards and holding on for a 133-129 National Basketball Association victory on Friday.

The league-leading Celtics looked dull and disinterested in the early going against a Wizards team ranked second-from-bottom in the East.

Unable to contain Washington in transition, the Celtics surrendered 71 points in the first half and trailed by seven at the break.

But they out-scored the Wizards 36-16 in the third quarter to seize control, pushing their lead to as many as 15 points and holding off a late rally bid from Washington.

Jayson Tatum scored 35 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists for Boston.

Kristaps Porzingis added 34 points and 11 rebounds against his former team, his three-pointer putting Boston up for good midway through the third period.

Porzingis told NBC Sports Boston he didn’t think the Celtics’ first half was “all that bad.”

“They did have some non-shooters make some open shots which we gave them,” he said. “But the second half we knew we had to take away their transition.”

“That’s what they were trying to do — run fast, shoot crazy shots and make them. Second half we turned up our intensity.”

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