The unwritten rules in basketball suggest that leaving a star player in a blowout game when the outcome is nearly decided is a no-no.
As the fourth quarter winded down between the Wizards and Celtics, Jayson Tatum checked back into the game despite Boston leading 99-76. Tatum was close to hitting the 50 point mark, and would end the game with 51 points.
When asked during postgame if he put in Tatum to cross the 50-point threshold, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said he had no idea how many points the 23-year-old had when he re-entered with 7:21 left to play.
"Not at all. Honestly. We were getting a bit ISO-heavy. So, I got him back in there to help finish the game," Udoka said.
Meanwhile, Celtics teammate Marcus Smart knew how many points Tatum had, and the entire squad on the floor wanted to make sure that he got his 50 points.
"We was trying to make sure he got over that 50 threshold. We were finding him. ... We're proud of him," Smart said.
Boston wanted to get the win over Washington, who they're fighting for position with in a crowded Eastern Conference field. The Celtics would leave Capital One Arena with a 116-87 victory.