Rapid Reaction: Thunder 101, Celtics 83
BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Boston Celtics 101-83 on Friday night at TD Garden:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Serge Ibaka scored a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds, while Jeremy Lamb added 19 points and six rebounds off the bench as the Kevin Durant-less Thunder steamrolled Boston on its home floor. Jeff Green scored a team-high 16 points for Boston on 7-of-17 shooting (just 1-of-8 beyond the 3-point arc after hitting eight triples in Washington on Wednesday). Green was a team-worst minus-20 in plus/minus. Gerald Wallace (13 points) and Brandon Bass (11) were the only other Boston players in double figures for scoring. The Thunder shot 53.8 percent from the floor (43-of-80) overall, while the Celtics started hot and cooled quickly, finishing at 42.7 percent (32-of-75) overall.
The Celtics shot 73.3 percent (11-of-15 overall) in the first quarter, but only led by one after the first 12 minutes. A Jared Sullinger layup to open the second half had Boston within two points, but the wheels came off quickly. The Thunder embarked on a 24-5 run that saw Reggie Jackson score nine points, grab three rebounds and dish out two assists while Oklahoma City's lead ballooned to 77-55 with 1:16 to play in the frame. Thabo Sefolosha added seven points during the burst, making all three shots he took in that span. The Celtics went ice cold during the third-quarter run, connecting on just 2-of-16 shots (12.5 percent) during the run.
All 12 active players saw court time for the Celtics. Joel Anthony played just three minutes, while rookie Vitor Faverani shook some rust and logged 11 minutes (chipping in two points and four rebounds). ... The Celtics turned the ball over 17 times for 22 points, while Oklahoma City Thunder allowed only 15 points off 16 giveaways. ... The Thunder led by as much as 23.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (15-30) fall back into the loss column. Boston has now dropped 13 of its last 15 games since Dec. 31 and currently owns the fifth-worst record in the league. The Celtics have an off day Saturday to prep for the emotional return of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett during Sunday's national TV battle with the surging Brooklyn Nets. A trip to New York to play the Knicks looms on Tuesday before Boston returns home to host the 76ers on Wednesday.
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