Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
All of the talk leading up to Wednesday’s meeting between the Celtics and Thunder was about how the Celtics were going to slow down Russell Westbrook.
They figured it out during the first half. The second half? Not so much.
Westbrook managed to score only 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, all while committing six turnovers, during the first half as Boston hounded him with strong defense. The C’s threw multiple looks his way, using everyone from Marcus Smart to Avery Bradley to Jae Crowder to Evan Turner as Westbrook’s defenders. All of those players did a respectable job of containing him.
Boston’s stout defense helped it carry a 57-53 lead into halftime. But then everything changed, most notably, Westbrook’s outlook on the night.
Oklahoma City’s point guard looked every bit the part of a superstar and MVP candidate during the second half. Westbrook’s fiery persona energized his teammates, and his offense powered them to a win.
No one on Boston’s roster could contain him as he scored 25 points during the second half alone. The free-throw line was his best friend, as he got to the line for 18 free throw attempts over the final 24 minutes. He made 16 of those attempts to fall just one made free throw shy of the Celtics' team total on the night.
Westbrook’s key spurt began midway through the third quarter. His Thunder trailed 70-66 before he scored eight of the game’s next 10 points. Oklahoma City went on a 13-0 run overall to take a 79-70 lead, and it never trailed from that point on en route to a 122-118 win.
Russell Westbrook was great, but that was expected. Marcus Smart’s monster night? That certainly was much more surprising.
Boston’s rookie point guard was phenomenal during his first game back in Oklahoma, the state in which he played his two years of college ball. Smart scored a career-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including a 7-of-12 showing from long range.
This was a stat-stuffing night for Smart. In addition to his team-high 25 points, he also provided a team-high nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals. Those two blocked shots set a new career high for Smart, and his nine boards fell one notch short of matching his career high.
Box Score Nuggets
- Russell Westbrook made two more free throws (19) than the entire Celtics team (17).
- Boston shot just 17-of-28 (60.7 percent) from the line.
- Oklahoma City scored 21 second-chance points.
- The Thunder scored 40 points during the third quarter, and the Celtics scored 37 points during the fourth quarter.
- Marcus Smart notched team highs of 25 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
- Krllu Olynyk also blocked two shots while pouring in 20 points.
- Westbrook and Evan Turner tied for the game high in assists with 10 apiece.
- Boston totaled 32 assists as a team, comparaed to just 19 from Oklahoma City.
- The game featured 12 ties.
- The Thunder grabbed 18 offensive rebounds.
- Three Thunder players, Westbrook, Enes Kanter (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Steven Adams (14 points, 13 rebounds) notched double-doubles, while no Celtics players did so.
- Jae Crowder tied for the Celtics team high in rebounds with nine.
- Boston attempted 34 3-pointers, connecting on 13, good for 38.2 percent.
- Turner fouled out of the game.
- Westbrook committed a game-high seven turnovers.
- Boston scored 30 points off of Oklahoma City's 17 turnovers, and the Thunder scored 26 points off of the Celtics' 20 turnovers.
- Tyler Zeller scored 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He has now made 25 of his last 33 field goal attempts.
Quote of the Night
Second-chance points killed us. We went to some zones but the only thing we couldn't do in them was rebound. They went over us.
Brad Stevens on Oklahoma City's offensive rebounding.