Sam Hauser makes 10 3-pointers before unfortunate exit in Celtics’ rout of Wizards

Sam Hauser couldn’t be stopped. He couldn’t miss. The sharpshooter was well on his way to potentially breaking some records in the Celtics’ rout of the Wizards when he ran into some misfortune on Sunday night in the nation’s capital.

Sam Hauser lives out NBA dream as starter for Boston Celtics -

Hauser had 10 3-pointers under his belt early in the third quarter – one away from matching the Celtics’ single-game record – when he launched another attempt from the right corner with 7:53 remaining in the period. It missed, and he landed cleanly. But as he was backpedaling, Hauser inadvertently stepped on someone’s foot on the Wizards’ bench, fell down and didn’t get up. He held his left ankle for a few moments before getting up under his own power and limping to the locker room.

Hauser didn’t return to the game. He didn’t need to because he had already scored a career-high 30 points, and the shorthanded Celtics were in complete control of an eventual 130-104 over the NBA-worst Wizards. Jayson Tatum scored 30 points with six assists in just 26 minutes, and Payton Pritchard dished out a career-high 13 assists as the Celtics won their fifth consecutive game.

The Celtics – without Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick White – once again showed how quality their depth is, especially Hauser, who stepped into the starting lineup and made 10 of his first 12 triples. He finished one 3-pointer shy of matching Marcus Smart’s single-game franchise record of 11 set in 2020, and he certainly would have challenged Klay Thompson’s NBA record of 14 3-pointers.

Hauser, who played just 23 minutes, played the fewest minutes for a player who made 10 or more 3-pointers in league history. He joined Brown and Smart as the third Celtic in franchise history to make at least 10 3-pointers, before his unfortunate exit.

Even shorthanded, the Celtics had no issue finding offense against the 11-win Wizards, who entered the night with one of the worst defenses in NBA history. It was actually a 17-17 game midway through the first quarter before the Celtics erupted and finished the period with 45 points – their third-most in franchise history on the road.

The Celtics never looked back against the lowly Wizards, as they led by as many as 33 in the second quarter behind their absurd output from distance. Hauser made six 3-pointers in the second period, all of them coming via catch-and-shoot as his teammates continuously found him coming off screens.

The Celtics scored 81 points in the first half, which marked the third time they’ve scored at least 80 in a half since Jan. 30 of this season. From 1991-2023, the Celtics had not reached 80 points in a half once.

The Celtics made 17 3-pointers in the first half, and looked like they were on their way to at least breaking their franchise single-game record of 27 they set last season and were on pace to break the NBA record of 29. But they ultimately finished with just 24.

Hauser continued his barrage to start the second half with three 3-pointers in the first 2:33 of the third period before the Wizards finally started chasing him for double teams off screens. But less than two minutes later, Hauser’s unfortunate injury robbed him of history.

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