Celtics-Wizards takeaways: Pritchard, C's dominate on Mike Gorman Day


Celtics-Wizards takeaways: Pritchard, C’s dominate on Mike Gorman Day originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics celebrated Mike Gorman Day at TD Garden with a dominant victory in their regular-season finale vs. the Washington Wizards.

Gorman, the play-by-play voice of the C’s for the last 43 years, was honored throughout the final regular-season game of his legendary career. The Celtics played a tribute video on the jumbotron and held a halftime ceremony that featured several emotional moments.

As for the game itself, Boston’s reserves again took center stage with the starters resting up for the playoffs. Rookie Jordan Walsh made his first NBA start alongside Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Luke Kornet.

Pritchard provided an encore after his dominant performance in Friday’s win over Charlotte. He set a career-high in points (38) for the second straight game while dishing 12 assists and notching nine rebounds. Mykhailiuk and big man Neemias Queta also had standout performances with 26 and 19 points, respectively. The Celtics led by as many as 24 points in their 132-122 win.

Boston finished its 2023-24 regular season with a 64-18 record, its best since it went 66-16 during its 2007-08 championship campaign. It’ll learn its first-round playoff opponent Friday after the play-in round.

Before we look ahead to the postseason, here are three takeaways from Sunday:

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“Pro-Am P” does it again

Pritchard earned one of his many nicknames, “Pro-Am P,” because he has a reputation for lighting up the box score in Pro-Am games, including a 92-point performance in 2021. He has been in “Pro-Am” mode these last two games while leading the Celtics’ starting lineup.

He topped his 32-point outburst vs. Charlotte with a 38-point performance — a new career-high — against the Wizards. He was a scorching 15-of-21 from the field, including 4-of-6 from deep.

Pritchard entered the half with 22 points and six assists. According to Celtics stats guru Dick Lipe, Pritchard is one of only seven C’s players in the play-by-play era to have had at least 20 points and six assists in the first half. He is the only Celtic to do it twice, and he accomplished the feat in two consecutive games.

Pritchard will revert to his backup role in the playoffs, but there’s no doubt he’ll have his moments to shine during Boston’s quest for Banner 18. He’s earned the opportunity.

Mike Gorman gets a proper sendoff

The beloved broadcaster’s final regular-season game celebrated 43 years of excellence.

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Early in the game, the C’s played a tribute video for Gorman on the TD Garden jumbotron. The crowd responded with a standing ovation, and Gorman had an emotional reaction to the outpouring of love.

The Celtics held a special halftime ceremony to honor all that Gorman brought to broadcasts for the last 43 years. Gorman spoke to the Garden crowd and topped off his speech with a message for the C’s as they gear up for their playoff run.

“To the team, I just want to say: go win this thing.”

You can watch the full ceremony below, or check out the highlights here.

While this was the final regular-season game of Gorman’s career, he will be on the call for NBC Sports Boston throughout the Celtics’ first-round playoff series.

Eastern Conference standings are set

The East standings are locked in after Sunday’s games. The playoff seedings are as follows:

  1. Boston Celtics (64-18)

  2. New York Knicks (50-32)

  3. Milwaukee Bucks (49-33)

  4. Cleveland Cavaliers (48-34)

  5. Orlando Magic (47-35)

  6. Indiana Pacers (47-35)

  7. Philadelphia 76ers (47-35)

  8. Miami Heat (46-36)

  9. Chicago Bulls (39-43)

  10. Atlanta Hawks (36-46)

The Eastern Conference play-in games will take place Wednesday night. The Heat will take on the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly at 7 p.m. ET. The Hawks will visit the Chicago Bulls with that showdown tipping off at 9:30 p.m.

The Celtics will learn their first-round opponent on Friday after the play-in games.





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