WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall surpassed 5,000 career assists and the Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 113-101 Tuesday night despite Jaylen Brown’s 21 first-quarter points to remain in play for the No. 6, No. 7 or No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
For now, the Wizards are eighth in the East, and potentially more worrisome is this: Starting small forward Otto Porter Jr. left at halftime with a right lower leg strain and did not return.
Washington ended its four-game losing streak and will wrap up the regular season at Orlando on Wednesday.
That result, along with how Miami fares against Toronto and what Milwaukee does at Philadelphia, will determine where the Wizards, Heat and Bucks all wind up in the standings ahead of the playoffs.
The Celtics already were locked into the No. 2 seed, but they’re also without point guard Kyrie Irving the rest of the way. If the Wizards end up at No. 7, they would face Boston for the second year in a row. The Celtics eliminated the Wizards in Game 7 of the second round last season.
On Tuesday, Brown nearly outscored the entire Wizards team in the first quarter; he led them 19-17 with about a minute left. By the close of the period, the Celtics were up 30-22, and Brown was shooting 6 for 9, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. He did not score in the second quarter — he only took one shot — and the Wizards cut their deficit to 54-52 by halftime.
Washington was up 79-72 entering the fourth.
Celtics: G Shane Larkin was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter. … Have dropped four of their past five games.
Wizards: Backup C Ian Mahinmi returned to action after missing one game because of a concussion. … Porter had 12 points and five rebounds before departing.
Wall came into the game needing nine assists to reach 5,000, and he passed for four of Washington’s first five baskets. He got to the milestone with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, assisting on a jumper by Markieff Morris. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft is the 10th active player, and 64th in NBA history, with 5,000 assists.
Celtics: Host the last-place Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday in a game that is meaningless in the standings.
Wizards: Play at the last-place Orlando Magic on Wednesday with a chance to move up to sixth or seventh in the East. But even with a victory, Washington could remain at No. 8.
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