Recapping the Washington Wizards' Game-Breaking Run by the Numbers
Going into Game 4 Sunday evening, the Boston Celtics held a 2-1 series lead and were looking to rebound from a Game 3 loss in order to take a 3-1 lead edge back to Boston.
Through two quarters, things were in their favor. They led by four after one quarter and by halftime, the two teams were tied at 48.
Even a minute into the second half, Boston went on a 5-0 run to grab a 53-48 lead, but it was then the Washington Wizards came alive and put on a massive 26-0 run in the next six minutes of play.
Inside the Run
During the run, the Wizards went 10 of 13 from the field while holding the Celtics to 0 for 5 shooting and 8 turnovers. The Wizards used those turnovers to their advantage by scoring 19 of their 26 points off them, with 12 coming on fast-break opportunities.
Spanning the entire third quarter, this is how things shifted leading up to, during and after Washington's onslaught.
|Time||WAS Score||BOS Score||WAS Win Prob.||BOS Win Prob.|
In going from a five-point deficit to a 21-point lead in the matter of six minutes, the Wizards' win probability -- according to our algorithms -- went from just over 50% to over 95% in what seemed to be the blink of an eye. In that same vein, the Celtics saw their win probability go from nearly 50% to just over 3% with 17 minutes remaining in the game.
By the end of the third, Washington had at one point mounted their highest lead (26 points) of the game, securing a 22-point advantage and 97.73% likelihood of winning as they entered the fourth and final frame.
This is a simple illustration of that crazy third-quarter journey.
A Predictable Outcome
The Wizards were outscored 34-31 in the fourth, but it wasn't enough for Boston to overcome what had just happened. Thanks to 25 points, 12 assists and 5 steals from John Wall, the Wizards won in commanding fashion by a final score of 121-102.
Speaking of final, here's our win probability graph for the entirety of the game.
For the most part, it was a tale of two halves, but this basically serves as a pre-run and post-run timeline.
An up-and-down first half gave way to a meteoric rise early on in the third quarter. After scoring 42 points, the Wizards' win probability never dipped below 97%. In fact, with 6:38 to go, Washington had a win probability of 99.15% -- telling us this game was all but locked up before it was even officially decided.
The Wizards have now leveled the series at two as they leave the friendly confines of the Verizon Center.
In spite of that, the Celtics -- at a win probability of 59.97% -- are more likely than not to win the series. Still, the most likely outcome (32.84%) is a Celtics win in seven.
So, buckle up, everyone!