WASHINGTON — Celtics forward Jae Crowder complained that Wizards coach Randy Wittman cursed at him from the bench, and then he let his play do the talking.
Crowder converted a go-ahead layup with 3.9 seconds left off a pass from Marcus Smart, and Boston outlasted Washington for a 119-117 victory Saturday night.
Isaiah Thomas scored 32 points for Boston, and Crowder finished with 22 after the exchange he said was the first he had ever experienced.
"I never had that happen in my time playing basketball," Crowder said. "I never had an interaction with the coach."
John Wall scored a season-high 36 points and had 13 assists for Washington, but missed a potential tying layup at the buzzer.
Avery Bradley’s 3-pointer gave Boston a 114-110 lead with 28 seconds left, but Crowder’s technical with 22 seconds to go helped the Wizards pull into a tie.
After Wall missed the first of three free throws, referee Tony Brothers whistled Crowder for the technical as he stood in the blocks and yelled toward Washington’s bench.
Crowder immediately pointed toward Wittman while arguing with Brothers, and later told reporters Wittman was on the other end of those remarks.
"I feel like he was getting away with a lot of curse words and inappropriate words to me, and I retaliated and I got hit," Crowder said. "Tony said he didn’t hear anything from Wittman. I’m not going to outburst on a coach and say something like that for no reason."
Gary Neal hit the technical and Wall hit his last two free throws while trying to tune out the commotion.
"I think there was a lot of woofing going on throughout the whole game," Wall said. "I’m just trying to compete and I didn’t want to get another technical. I got enough this year."
Wittman held his postgame press conference before Crowder talked, and the Wizards declined to make the coach available again. The officiating crew left before they could comment.
Crowder said he didn’t understand why Wittman would target him or any opposing player.
"He was saying something about me being soft and bleep, bleep, bleep hitting me on the John Wall foul." he said. "It’s new to me. I understand we play them next week. I honestly don’t know where it was coming from."
The Wizards went 7 for 8 from the line down the stretch, including Garret Temple’s free throws that tied it at 117.
After a timeout, Smart’s lob pass from beyond the 3-point line found Crowder on the right block, and he sank his leaner off the glass over Kelly Oubre.
Wall got the inbounds pass and raced the length of the court, but his layup fell off the rim and Nene’s follow came after the buzzer.
"Hey listen, that was a hell of a battle," Wittman said of the final miss. "You can’t point to one thing."
BEAL ON THE BENCH
Wizards guard Bradley Beal rested after scoring 22 points in 22 minutes in Friday night’s victory at Indiana. He returned from a 16-game layoff for a lower right leg stress reaction on Wednesday.
"The doctors make that decision," Wittman said.
Beal is averaging 19.4 points over 19 games. Both Wittman and Beal have said the guard’s minutes would be limited early on in his return from the injury.
Celtics: Jared Sullinger scored 14 points but fouled out for the second time this season. He picked up his second and third fouls in a 55-second stretch of the second quarter and was called for his fourth and fifth personals in the span of 16 seconds in the third. … G R.J. Hunter was assigned to the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws.
Wizards: F Otto Porter (right hip) missed his second straight game and F Kris Humphries (right knee) missed his seventh. Wittman said F/G Alan Anderson (left ankle surgery) is "doing small stuff on the court." He wouldn’t outline a timetable for a return for the 33-year-old veteran, who hasn’t played this season.
Celtics: At Dallas on Monday.
Wizards: Home against Portland on Monday.