Ford Keys to the Game: Thunder 100, Celtics 108
The Celtics may have lost something when Ray Allen left for the Miami Heat, but it sure wasn’t clutch shooting. Allen’s replacement, Jason Terry, is made of ice.
Terry has been known throughout his entire career as a clutch player. He’ll tell anyone who listens that he loves the fourth quarter, which he calls “money time.” Tonight, in his 13th game with the Celtics, he finally showed us why.
Boston pushed the pace after Kendrick Perkins missed a tip-in with 52 seconds remaining in the game but the C’s couldn’t find an open look at the other end. The ball was eventually given back to Rondo at the top of the key, and he waited for a play to develop.
It didn’t take long for the point guard to find something he liked, as Terry came off of a screen and spotted up behind the 3-point line on the left wing. Rondo quickly tossed a pass to Terry and the JET swished home a trey with 36.7 seconds remaining in the game.
“That’s why you have a JET on your team,” Doc Rivers said after the win. “Because he’s a big-shot maker.”
Terry’s 3-pointer sent the TD Garden crowd into hysteria as it celebrated a marquee win that had officially been put on the rocks. It's fitting that he placed the game on the rocks, because he himself is made of ice.
Key Box Score Line
As much as Jason Terry likes to say that he thrives in “money time,” one of his teammates thrived even more than he did tonight.
Kevin Garnett performed like he was in his mid-20s during the fourth quarter of Friday’s win over the Thunder. He scored 12 of his 18 points while racking up the final 9:47 of his 32:05 of playing time during that frame. Garnett attempted and made eight free throws in the fourth quarter to help the C’s seal a monumental victory.
Garnett brought more to the table than just points. His energy at both ends of the floor, from helping to defend Oklahoma City’s slew of scorers to grabbing critical rebounds, was on full display. He was whistled for four fouls in the frame thanks to that energy (none of which came back to haunt the team). He grabbed four boards in the period thanks to that same energy.
He was clutch, he was great, and he was the driving force to this victory. Kevin Garnett, in short, was money.
Box Score Nuggets
- Both teams scored eight second-chance points on 3-for-7 shooting.
- Kevin Durant (29 points) and Russell Westbrook (26 points) combined for 55 points.
- Four Celtics scored at least 16 points, led by Paul Pierce's 27.
- Six players in the game accumulated at least four fouls.
- The C's shot 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from downtown.
- Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with nine rebounds.
- Jeff Green scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting off of the bench.
- Both Durant (20 shots) and Westbrook (21 shots) attempted at least 20 field goals, while Pierce led the C's in that department with 16.
- Kevin Garnett shot 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
- Serge Ibaka accounted for the game's only double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
- Rajon Rondo's 16 assists doubled the amount of Oklahoma City's top assist man (Westbrook, with eight).
- Oklahoma City's largest lead was nine points and it scored nine fast break points. Boston's largest lead was 14 and it scored 14 fast beak points.
- Boston's bench outscored Oklahoma City's 35-13.
Quote of the Night
He's like a cell phone that you buy at 7-11. You only have 32 minutes, and if you went 33 then the phone would have been dead.
Doc Rivers on watching Kevin Garnett's minutes.