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Jayson Tatum scores play-in record 50 points vs. Wizards

Jayson Tatum willed the Celtics to a win over the Wizards on Wednesday by scoring 50 points. Boston advances to face the Nets in the first round.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics reacts during the second half of a game in the play-in tournament against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden on May 18, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

The 2021 NBA play-in tournament begins on Tuesday night with two games to decide who will be the 7 and 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The No. 7 Boston Celtics will host the No. 8 Washington Wizards at TD Garden at 9 p.m. ET on TNT. The winner of this game will go on to face the No. 2 Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The loser will face the Indiana Pacers to decide who is the 8-seed in the conference. Here we’ll be tracking all the action for the game.

Wizards vs. Celtics final score

Final update — Tatum ended the night leading all scorers with 50 points and Walker was right behind him with 29 in a 118-100 victory for the Celtics. Both teams shot below 43% from the field, but success from beyond the arc and at the free-throw line helped Boston pull ahead in the end. Beal and Westbrook will need to bounce back from their poor shooting nights against the Indiana Pacers in their next play-in game.

2:45 — Tatum has scored 50 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. He isn’t done yet and Boston is up 113-94 down the home stretch. The Celtics seem poised to run away with this game unless Washington can manage to go on a ridiculous run.

7:15 — The Celtics boast a 12-point lead and are up 100-88. Tatum has a game-high 45 points on 30 shots and is a perfect 15-of-15 from the charity stripe. Walker’s right behind him with 23 points. Beal’s cold with 22 points on 24 shots, while Westbrook has 16 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Washington has to find consistency from somewhere on offense.

Third quarter

8:08 — It’s 808s and heartbreak time. Tatum has scored a game-high 26 points and Walker has 21. Washington is still looking to get someone to carry the load on offense. Beal will have to get his mojo back for the Wizards to compete. If he’s doesn’t, Westbrook could need to make more outside shots.

10:22 — Luckily for Boston, Robert Williams is OK and was good to start the third quarter. Tatum and Kemba Walker have scored 21 and 18 points, respectively, and have pushed the Celtics out to a 61-56 lead.

Second quarter

Halftime — Washington holds a 54-52 lead thanks to Beal’s 11-point second quarter. He leads the Wizards with 13 points and is trailed by Smith. Westbrook has eight points, five assists, and 13 rebounds. Tatum leads all scorers with 18 points, but the Celtics could be in trouble down the stretch because of an unfortunate injury. Robert Williams went to the locker room after landing awkwardly in the final minute of the first half. Boston could have to delve into its reserve post players a little more in the second half.

3:34 — Beal is cooking now and has nine points on 4-of-10 shooting. He’s grabbed five boards and dished out four dimes ahead of the break. Only Smith has more points (11) among Wizards players. Jayson Tatum leads the Celtics with 10 points but might have lost a major supporting piece. Smart went down with what appeared to be a leg injury after Beal scored a bucket to put Washington up 44-38.

8:26 — Ish Smith has ignited Washington’s offense by going at Payton Pritchard and is even with Jayson Tatum with a game-high 8 points. Boston still holds a 31-29 lead, though.

First quarter

End of first quarter — Boston holds a 27-21 lead and Smart leads all scorers with seven points. Daniel Gafford leads Washington in points with six on 3-of-3 shooting but picked up three fouls in six minutes before being sent to the bench. No single player is taking over so far, but that could change in the second quarter.

4:27 — Beal is starting to hobble a little but managed to score his first points of the night on a dunk. He also three rebounds, two assists, and a steal to his name. Marcus Smart leads all scorers with five points and has helped the Celtics get out to a 17-11 lead.

7:05 — The Celtics hold a 10-7 lead and four of their five starters have scored. Alex Len leads the Wizards with three points, while Russell Westbrook and Hachimura each have one bucket apiece. Hachimura has picked up two quick fouls on Kemba Walker, though. That’s something to monitor.

Wizards vs. Celtics pre-game odds

Spread: Celtics -2.5 (-114)
Over/Under: 233
Moneyline: WAS +117, BOS -139

Wizards vs. Celtics injury report

Wizards updates

Bradley Beal — The Wizards All-Star guard is dealing with a hamstring injury but is fully expected to play in this game. While he isn’t 100 percent, Beal should still be effective and play a normal amount of minutes in such a crucial spot. He sustained the injury back on May 8 and told reporters it probably won’t be “fully healed” for another week or so.

Celtics updates

Update: Brad Stevens is hopeful Williams will play vs. the Wizards.

Robert Williams — The Celtics big man practiced on Monday despite a toe injury and is probable to play in the play-in tournament. The Time Lord may end up being a game-time call, so be sure to check on his status. Coach Brad Stevens expects Williams to play, so he’d be in the starting lineup and in line for big minutes. Washington has a thin frontcourt Williams can try and exploit.