Wizards erase 18-point deficit, top Celtics 106-99

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BOSTON (AP) - Trevor Ariza scored 27 points and hit a 3-pointer that capped a fourth-quarter run that carried the Washington Wizards to a 106-99 comeback win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday.

Trailing 92-84, Ariza started the 14-1 rally with a jumper from the right corner. John Wall had five of his 20 points in the surge, which was interrupted only by a free throw by Jared Sullinger that gave Boston a 93-91 lead with 3:39 remaining.

Then Nene tied the game with a short baseline jumper and Wall gave the Wizards their first lead, 95-93, with a 20-footer with 2:5 to go. Marcin Gortat then blocked Sullinger's shot and Ariza hit his 3-pointer with 2:25 remaining to put Washington ahead 98-93.

Boston was led by Avery Bradley with 26 points.

Bradley scored 18 points in a span of 8:01 in the second half. He started with a layup with 4:01 left in the third quarter that gave the Celtics a 66-59 lead and ended with a jumper from the foul line with 8:00 left in the fourth quarter that made it 88-82. Bradley then went to the bench and the Wizards began their comeback.

Washington (12-13) won its third straight game. It started the day in fourth place in the Southeast Division but has a better record than Boston (12-16) which entered the game in first place in the Atlantic Division.

Nene, Gortat and Kevin Seraphin scored 13 points each for the Wizards.

For the Celtics, Sullinger had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Jeff Green added 13 points.

Three days after squandering a 21-point lead and losing to Detroit 107-106, Boston wasted an 18-point lead.

The Celtics led 51-44 at halftime and 62-53 five minutes into the third quarter. But Washington tied it at 74 on a 3-pointer by Martell Webster with 42 seconds left in the third quarter. Then the Celtics took a two-point lead on Bradley's jumper from the top of the key with 3.9 seconds left in the period.

Boston got off to its second straight strong start and led 30-14 after one quarter. On Wednesday night, it outscored Detroit 42-23 in the first.

The Celtics hit 60 percent of their shots in the opening period, making 12 of 20, against the Wizards after connecting on 69 percent in the first quarter against the Pistons.

Boston scored the first seven points of the game, took a 22-8 lead on Sullinger's 3-point play with 4:07 left in the period and finished it by scoring the last five points. A layup by Gerald Wallace gave the Celtics their biggest lead, 32-14.

Then the Wizards chipped away and cut the lead to seven points at intermission. After making just 6 of 24 shots in the first quarter, they hit 12 of 20 in the second.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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