Notebook: Celtics 108, Thunder 100



Posted Nov 23, 2012 11:25 PM

By Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Paul Pierce had 22 of his season-high 27 points in the second half, helping the Boston Celtics snap a two-game losing streak with a 108-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jeff Green added 17 points off the bench, as the Celtics put together one of their best efforts of the season on both sides of the floor in the win over a surging Thunder squad which had won eight of their last nine games.

Kevin Durant had 29 points for the visitors, leading a fourth quarter comeback with 14 points in the frame, to help cut a 12-point deficit to three with a couple minutes remaining. The Celtics held their ground late however, responding with five quick points to stop the late run and finish off the Thunder.

QUOTABLE: "This is a gut-check type of win, a look yourself in the mirror type of game. We did what everybody expected of us [tonight] and we came and played the way I know we are capable of playing against a quality opponent." -- Pierce.

THE STAT: The Celtics held the Thunder, the league's best team in transition, to just nine fast break points on the evening.

TURNING POINT: Green took command of the Celtics second unit, scoring seven straight points over a 11-0 run to help stretch the Boston lead into double digits in the closing minutes of the third quarter.

QUOTABLE II: "He makes tough shots, he's been doing it his whole career." -- Durant.

HOT: Pierce -- After a slow start in the first half, Boston's captain came out firing after intermission, scoring four of Boston's first five baskets of the third quarter, including two from beyond the arc. Pierce had 10 of his 27 points in the frame.

NOT: Kevin Martin -- The Thunder's newest offensive weapon hit his first road bump of the season on the offensive end, missing six of his seven shot attempts, while posting just three points in 31 minutes. Prior to Friday's game, Martin had been averaging 17.8 points per game.

QUOTABLE III: "We just need to play right. It's great to beat Oklahoma, they're the team to beat in the west, but it's more how we played. We played with great force tonight. I thought that was the difference." -- Boston coach Doc Rivers.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Russell Westbrook -- One of the best all-around point guards in the NBA put his skills on display against the Celtics in all areas of the game. Westbrook flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 26 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Fresh off a dominating win over the New York Jets on Thanksgiving, Patriots star wide receiver Wes Welker watched the game with friends at the TD Garden.

ROOKIE WATCH: Jared Sullinger -- The rookie flashed a nice inside-outside offensive game while drawing a pair of charges on the defensive end, putting together arguably the best game of his young NBA career. Sullinger finished with eight points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.

NOTABLE: Daniel Orton and DeAndre Liggins were assigned to the Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder's D-League affiliate on Thursday. Kendrick Perkins played his second game in Boston since being traded by the franchise in February 2011. The center finished with five points and tied a season-high with nine rebounds. Green faced off with his former team for the first team in his career, after sitting out all of last season....The Celtics improved to 4-3 at home....The Thunder had a three-game winning streak snapped....Rajon Rondo finished with 16 assists, his 36th consecutive game with double-digit assists.

UP NEXT: For Oklahoma City: Saturday @ Philadelphia, Monday vs. Charlotte, Wednesday vs. Houston. For Boston: Sunday @ Orlando, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn, Friday vs. Portland.