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CELTICS104

THUNDER119
2 Turnovers for the Thunder in the first half

7 Assists for James Harden, part of the team's 22 total assists

10 Rebounds for Kendrick Perkins, part of the team's 43-32 rebounding advantage

17 Points for Daequan Cook, tying his season-high

47.4 The Thunder's 3-point shooting percentage on the evening, including a 2-for-3 showing for Royal Ivey

50.0 The Thunder's shooting percentage for the game from the field

50-36 Points in the paint advantage for the Thunder

72 First half points for the Thunder, a season-high

The Thunder will finish its homestand before the All-Star Break with a showdown against the Lakers on Thursday night. Game time is 8:30 p.m. Central and will air live on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Thunder Radio Network.

The Thunder then will get a few days off while the NBA turns its attention to Orlando and All-Star Weekend, where Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder coaching staff will all represent the organization. After the weekend, the Thunder travels to Philadelphia for a Wednesday night matchup against the 76ers.

GAME IN REVIEW


RECAP:
The Thunder exploded for 72 points in the first half, including 35 in the first quarter on its way to a 119-104 victory over the always-tough Boston Celtics. After falling behind by ten points early on in the opening 12 minutes, the Thunder burst out to a 30-3 run that spanned the final six minutes of the first quarter and the first two minutes of the second quarter, creating a wide gap that eventually ran up to 27 points. The resilient Celtics made a charge in the third quarter and even got the game back into single digits in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder kept a fiesty opponent at arms length for the second straight game and came away with the victory. Head Coach Scott Brooks credited the win to ball movement and willingness to share the basketball in addition to an up-tempo pace.

"Tonight we were moving the ball, we were running the court, we were playing with good pace and taking care of the basketball," Brooks said. "It was beautiful basketball in the first half."

The Thunder had 14 assists to only two turnovers in the first quarter, and by game's end the team finished with 22 assists, including six apeiece from Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, along with seven from James Harden. Most of the feeding of one another came off the drive-and-dish, when players like Westbrook and Harden were able to beat their men off the dribble and find open shooters on the wings, in the corner and around the rim. The ball was whizzing around the court for most of the game, and it led to the Thunder shooting 50 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from the 3-point line. When the Thunder shared the ball as well as it did in the first half, it gave Harden and company a huge boost.

"(It feels) excellent," Harden said. "Everybody is happy, everybody is feeling good going into halftime. Daequan (Cook) made some shots, I made a couple shots. Our guys just did a good job... We knew we wanted to get to the paint and find our shooters, find open guys. If a big helps up, find our bigs for easy dunks. We did a great job of that, everybody passed the ball tonight and we got some easy buckets."

The huge first half of 72 points, a season-high, was set off by the offensive contributions by Daequan Cook and Royal Ivey, who combined for 23 points on 5-of-11 shooting from 3-point land. Cook tied his season-high with 17 points, while Ivey knocked down two corner 3-pointers in the flow of the offensive in addition to picking Paul Pierce's pocket and racing in for a layup. While Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant finished with 31 and 28 points respectively and Kendrick Perkins had eight points and 10 rebounds, it was the jumpers that Cook and Ivey were able to convert that put the Celtics in a bind and jumpstarted the Thunder victory.

"I was open and KD (Kevin Durant) before the game was like, 'When you're open, shoot it'," Ivey said. "And that's what I did. I got a couple open looks and I knocked them down. Just feeling confident, that's all that is... Just sharing the ball, playing Thunder ball. When a guy is open you have to hit him and you have to knock down your shots. Having that continuity is great with this group of guys. We have shooters on this team, so when you find an open guy, you're hoping that guy knocks the shot down. "

TURNING POINT:
After falling behind 22-12 to start the first quarter, the Thunder embarked on perhaps its most remarkable run of the season, out-scoring the Celtics 30-to-3 over an eight minute span. It started with 5:07 remaining in the first quarter when Russell Westbrook knocked down two free throws, hit a layup and then Daequan Cook and James Harden teamed up to score eight points in less than a minute thanks to a Harden steal and three free throw shots for Cook to go along with a 3-pointer. To continue the run, Nazr Mohammed scored four points, Kevin Durant found Westbrook for a back door dunk and then found Harden for a 3-pointer all before the quarter was over. The Thunder forced three turnovers during that span and the Celtics only had one rebound during the final five minutes of the quarter. To start the second quarter, Cook hit a corner 3-pointer, Royal Ivey made a steal and a layup, then Harden made a layup to make the scored 42-25 Thunder with 10:14 remaining in the second quarter.

"Moving the ball and making shots," Brooks said of the run. "We are a team that should continue to get better in those areas. Spacing, moving, moving the basketball, moving our bodies. And we made eight threes. That in itself made it tough on them defensively, because then they had to pick their poison. The ball-handling and ability to attack the basket, we put a lot of pressure on teams."

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, FIRST HALF:
Great vision from Russell Westbrook to find Kendrick Perkins open underneath after rolling off a screen on the block... Tough offensive rebound for Serge Ibaka underneath to keep a possession alive... Heads up play by Kevin Durant to make a steal after a Celtics defensive rebound... Good job by Perkins to get an offensive rebound and then score through contact, then a nice steal and lay-up by Westbrook on the next possession... Pretty pick-and-pop 3-pointer from Westrbrook to Durant... Westbrook with a slicing and dicing move to carve up the Celtics D and get into the lane... Solid defensive rotations and rebounding that leads to Daequan Cook does a nice job of drawing a foul on a 3-point attempt... Heads up positioning by James Harden to make a steal and then take it the length of the floor for a lay-in... Beautiful ball rotation by Durant to find Cook for a corner 3-pointer... Good technique on the box-out by Durant to grab a defensive board... Pretty driving feed from Harden to Nazr Mohammed for the dunk... Great job of getting out on the fast break after a Celtics miss as Durant throws a slick bounce pass to Westbrook for a dunk, then makes a steal on the other end, which is finished by a Mohammed put-back... The Thunder's transition explosion continues, as Mohammed tips a loose rebound to Durant, who finds Harden on the wing for a 3-pointer... Good sequence for Reggie Jackson, who finds Cook in the corner for a 3-pointer off a drive and then forces a turnover on the other end... Quick hands by Mohammed and Royal Ivey to combine for a steal and layup on the other end to continue the run... Good awareness by Cook to shoot immediately off a curl with the shot clock running out... Smart job of getting a hand in the passing lane by Cook for a steal and lay-up... Perfect back-screen by Perkins to set up a Westbrook-to-Durant alley-oop... Westbrook drives and kicks again, this time to Ivey for a 3-pointer... Big block by Perkins that he expertly outlets to Durant, who finds Harden for a huge slam... Tough offensive board and kick-out by Perkins, who got it to Harden to draw Paul Pierce's third foul... Ivey harrassing Ray Allen, then the Thunder continuing to drive-and-dish as Harden found Westbrook for a 3-pointer... Good communication to switch on a screen by Westbrook... Tough defense out front by Hardenand Westbrook to force a steal and dunk.

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, SECOND HALF:
Solid defense out front by Durant to knock the ball away then a good box out by Cook to gather the rebound... Good posititoning by Durant, then a nice feed to Serge Ibaka to draw a foul... Tough defense by Perkins inside to stop a pierce drive, then another slick dish from Durant to Cook for a corner 3-pointer... Good job of getting back on in transition defense by all five Thunder players, then quick hands by Durant during the next Celtics possession to make a steal and fling it up court to Perkins for a dunk... Then Durant sticks with his own miss off a floater to put it back... Really hard drive and finish at the rim for Westbrook to get the Thunder to 90 points with four minutes remaining in the thrid quarter... Great work inside by Ivey to draw a foul on Kevin Garnett by getting inside position... Silky smooth scoop shot from Westbrook in the lane to stop a Celtics run... An incredible pass from Harden to Perkins for a dunk off a screen and roll... Good nose for the ball by Westbrook to gather the defensive rebound... Really nice work on both ends by Perkins to drive to the bucket for a lay-up over Garnett then to hustle back and grab a defensive rebound... Smart foul by Harden to stop a sure lay-up... Nice job by Harden to get into the lane and draw a foul... Well-executed curl off the Ibaka screen by Durant to knock down a bank shot... Toughness on the inside by Cook to box out and grab a defensive rebound... Great patience from Harden to find Ibaka underneath for a dunk on a drive... Despite being fouled out, Perkins still talking to Harden from the bench... Picture-perfect switching and rotation on defense by the Thunder to prevent Allen from getting a free look at the rim... Ibaka coming over weak-side and sending a lay-up attempt all the way out to the 3-point line.



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