Marcus Smart stole your cookies, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Boston led Sunday’s matchup with the Thunder by only three points as the game entered the final 10 seconds. Oklahoma City had possession of the ball with a chance to tie the game.
The Thunder didn’t even get a shot off to do so, thanks to Smart.
Oklahoma City looked toward its young star, Gilgeous-Alexander, to give the team its critical bucket. But as he made his move to his left on the left wing, Smart reached in with his left hand and poked the ball loose with 5.8 seconds left in the game.
Smart then picked up the loose ball and got it to Kemba Walker, who was streaking toward Boston’s basket, and Walker was fouled and sent to the free-throw line with 3.4 seconds left. Walker made one of the two free throws to ostensibly seal the win.
Chris Paul swished home a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make the final score 112-111 in favor of Boston. That bucket serves as a reminder of just how important Smart’s steal was.
His play prevented Oklahoma City from even having an opportunity to tie the game just seconds earlier. This was the definition of a winning play, which Smart, an All-Defensive First Teamer, not surprisingly made with his defensive skills.
Daniel Theis was great Sunday afternoon.
He returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a right ankle sprain and put forth what is in contention for his best all-around performance as a member of the Celtics. He stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists during his 30-plus minutes of action.
Those numbers might make your eyes widen, but you must remember that Theis’ job is not to put up gaudy numbers. Still, he found a way to log his fourth double-double of the season while tying Chris Paul for the game’s top assist mark with five. The big man’s 11 boards also tied teammate Jayson Tatum and Thunder big man Steven Adams for the game’s top mark.
Theis shot 5-for-11 from the field, 1-for-4 from long distance and 2-for-4 from the free-throw line. He did not commit a single turnover during the game, all while helping to limit Adams to just four points.
Box Score Nuggets
- The game featured 20 lead changes and 11 ties.
- Kemba Walker led the game with 27 points.
- Jayson Tatum was right on his tails with 26.
- Boston's starters combined to score 96 of the team's 112 points.
- Four Thunder players scored at least 22 points, led by 24 apiece from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari.
- Neither team dished out more than 19 assists, and they combined to commit only 19 turnovers.
- Daniel Theis and Chris Paul tied for the game high in assists with five apiece.
- Theis, Tatum and Steven Adams tied for the game high in rebounds with 11 apiece.
- Both teams shot better than 40 percent from long range, but the Celtics made 16 treys to OKC's 11.
- The Celtics shot 5-for-6 on fast break opportunities and outscored OKC 12-5 in that category.
- All five of Boston's starters attempted between 10 and 19 shots.
Quote of the Night
Great play. Huge play. An unbelievable steal by Marcus.
Brad Stevens on Marcus Smart's game-sealing steal