Celtics win to reach NBA play-offs

May 20, 2021
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    Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook attempts to steal the ball from Boston Celtics forward Jayson TatumJayson Tatum (right) scored 23 of his 50 points as Boston raced clear in the third quarter

    Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 50 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards 118-100 to secure their place in the NBA play-offs.

    Boston won the play-in contest on Tuesday to secure the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference play-offs.

    They will meet the second-seeded Brooklyn Nets in the first round, with game one scheduled for Saturday.

    Washington have one more chance to make the post-season when they host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.

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    The winner will secure the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference play-offs and face the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.

    Washington led 56-55 in the opening minute of the third quarter before Boston, who lost five of their last six games in the regular season, scored 14 straight points during a 19-2 burst.

    Tatum scored 23 of his 50 points in the third quarter while Kemba Walker added 29 points for the Celtics. Bradley Beal scored a team-high 22 for Washington.

    The play-in tournament has been introduced on a one-year basis for the 2020-21 season, and will determine who takes the seventh and eighth seeded positions in each conference for the play-offs.

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