Live Blog: Celtics at Thunder


Dec 4, 2009

Live Blog: Celtics at Thunder Final, Celtics 105-87: The Celtics win their seventh straight and wrap up a 4-0 road trip and it was never close.

It is the team’s longest winning streak since a 12-game run that came midway through last season before Kevin Garnett got hurt.

Garnett leads six players in double figures with 23 points and Paul Pierce added 21 points – all in the first half – to spearhead a 56.5 percent shooting effort for the Celtics (16-4)

Kevin Durant scored 36 points for the Thunder (10-9), but only one other teammate reached double figures.

Some other notable numbers from this one:

– Boston shot 9-of-16 from 3-point range.

– The Celtics held a 40-30 advantage on the glass, one night after losing the battle of the boards against San Antonio by 23.

– Aside from Kevin Durant, the rest of the Thunder went 19-of-49 from the floor.
– Durant had zero assists and three turnovers in 35 minutes.

After its flight home, Boston gets three days off before hosting Milwaukee on Tuesday night at the Garden. We will be following that one courtside so get all your updates right here.

Fourth quarter, 2:19, Celtics 101-79: Rasheed Wallace hit a 3-pointer a few moments ago to get the sixth Celtic into double figures.

Boston is 8-of-14 from long distance. Oklahoma City is just 3-of-16.

Fourth quarter, 6:26, Celtics 98-74: I don’t have any numbers at the ready but Eddie House almost always does the bulk of his damage in the fourth quarter of games.

He just ignited an otherwise dormant offensive attack with consecutive jumpers, including his second 3-pointer.

Fourth quarter, 7:09, Celtics 93-74: Oklahoma City gets its deficit down to 19 but Brian Scalabrine draws a charge on Kevin Durant to keep the hosts from getting any closer before the break.

The Celtics have just two baskets in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Their offense disappeared in the final 12 minutes Thursday night in San Antonio but the margin should be enough to survive here.

There are not nearly enough long-range threats for the Thunder to mount a comeback from outside, unless Durant gets a bunch of open looks in a row.

Fourth quarter, 11:15, Celtics 88-65: The Celtics have five reserves in to start the fourth and could keep the starters on the pine with a few good minutes here.

End of third quarter, Celtics 88-65: It seems as if Rajon Rondo does this often.

He remains quiet for a quarter or two, biding his time until he simply explodes in one amazing stretch of basketball.

That’s what took place here in the third quarter. Rondo played the entire quarter, finishing with 13 points and assists as the Celtics take complete control.

Paul Pierce, who scored 21 points in the first quarter, took only one shot and was scoreless in the third but Boston still added 12 points to their halftime lead.

Third quarter, 2:20, Celtics 83-61: Rajon Rondo is turning the court at Ford Center into his own private playground.

He has thrown multiple trick passes and seems to be slashing to the hoops on each possession.

After Kendrick Perkins missed a short jumper, Rondo flew from under the hoop untouched for the tip.

Third quarter, 3:43, Celtics 79-60: The Thunder have one basket since the 10:27 mark of the third quarter.

The frustration is beginning to show. Moments after Kevin Durant misses badly on a play in which he thought he was fouled, he argues a call and gets a technical.

Third quarter, 7:26, Celtics 71-53: I mentioned earlier that it might take only a few minutes of solid defense to make this a runaway.

The Celts are threatening to do so right now by shutting down the Thunder on one end, and getting easy looks on the other.

Oklahoma City has missed six straight shots. Kevin Garnett has scored nine points on his own at the same time.

Third quarter, 7:55, Celtics 69-53: I doubt Thunder coach Scott Brooks is pleased with Jeff Green chucking up – and missing – four 3-point tries.

Green entered shooting just 30.7 percent from the arc.

Third quarter, 9:43, Celtics 67-53: The Rajon RondoKevin Garnett combo works well again as Rondo leaves a bounce pass Garnett for a slam and the C’s have matched their largest lead.

Garnett now has 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Boston has had a ton of great individual and team shooting performances of late.

Third quarter, 11:55, Celtics 60-49: Underway in the third. Time to keep an eye on any issues of fatigue for the Celtics.

Halftime, Celtics 60-49: A pretty exciting first half with some great offensive showings.

Like a lot of Celtics games of late, there’s a sense that the second they string together a solid six minutes or so of defense they will take complete control. They fell two points shy of matching their best offensive first half this season.

Paul Pierce hits three 3-pointers early before taking it to the hoop a bit more later on and finishes the half with 21 points.

Kevin Durant is 9-of-12 from the floor and leads all scorers with 22.

Boston is shooting 58.3 percent while the hosts are at 57.1.

Back in a bit to see if the C’s can lock down a perfect road trip.

Second quarter, 2:42, Celtics 52-41: Kendrick Perkins continues to showcase a vastly improved offensive game.

He has been dominant during stretches of this road trip and has 11 already in this one.

Second quarter, 3:56, Celtics 48-41: We were just given a great glimpse into Kevin Durant’s game.

After making an almost impossible shot while being fouled by Kevin Garnett, he completely loses Paul Pierce on the defensive end, allowing Pierce to run his scoring total to 17 points with a slam.

His defense has improved but someone like Pierce can have his way.

Second quarter, 5:50, Celtics 44-36: While it was Kevin Durant who carried Oklahoma City early, Russell Westbrook is dominating here in the second.

Westbrook has factored in each of the last 12 Thunder points with 10 points and an assist.

Second quarter, 7:02, Celtics 38-31: A quick 7-0 run for Oklahoma City and Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo are quickly inserted back into the lineup.

Perhaps we are all still getting used to the NBA having a franchise here but every time I type the city name all I can think of is the old Saturday Night Live game show skit where Jon Lovitz gets a wedgie and continuously screams out “Oklahoma!” after each one.

Hard to explain, but would be worth an online search as it’s hilarious.

Second quarter, 9:04, Celtics 38-24: When Marquis Daniels just grabbed that offensive board moments ago and did not go back up with it I wondered why, what with all the room he had to operate.

But Daniels must have thought Eddie House on the wing was a better option, and he was right in the end.

House hits a 3-pointer to give the Celtics their largest lead. It is Boston’s fifth 3-pointer in seven attempts.

Second quarter, 10:04, Celtics 35-24: Paul Pierce and Kevin Durant have combined for 27 of the 59 points that have been scored so far.

End of first quarter, Celtics 31-20: The C’s shoot 63.2 percent in their highest-scoring first quarter this season.

Paul Pierce led the way with 11 points, while his counterpart, Kevin Durant, had 12 of the 20 Thunder points.

Oklahoma City has had a few affairs this season where Durant gets his points but just doesn’t get much support. The team has just two other players averaging in double figures, whereas the Celts have five and Rasheed Wallace lurks just below the 10-point mark.

First quarter, 2:47, Celtics 29-16: Ray Allen hits a 3-pointer while getting fouled, and in un-Ray Allen fashion misses the free throw.

That’s one of the few things to go wrong for the Celtics so far, however.

This has the same feel as the
Charlotte game Tuesday night in which the C’s were also facing a young team playing well, but dominated the first quarter. In that one they raced to a 27-12 lead before the first quarter was done and the Bobcats never mounted a challenge.

Let’s see if the Thunder have it in them to get some stops, because it doesn’t seem like they do here early on. The Green are 11-of-15 from the floor.

First quarter, 5:03, Celtics 23-12: Kevin Durant hits his fourth straight to start the game and end Boston’s run at 12-0, but the C’s score two more times and have completely taken the crowd out of this one.

First quarter, 6:47, Celtics 17-10: You get the feeling that we could see a classic shootout between Paul Pierce and Kevin Durant.

Pierce has three 3-pointers already and Durant is a perfect 3-of-3 for the Thunder and has six of their 10 points.

It took Pierce less than four minutes to surpass his scoring total in the wins over Charlotte and San Antonio. He and Kevin Garnett have scored all the points in a 10-0 Celtics run.

First quarter, 9:45, Thunder 6-5: As mentioned earlier, Paul Pierce has been an afterthought in the past two games, scoring eight points each.

He hits a 3-pointer to start things off, but then sees Kevin Durant get his first hoop with a jumper in the lane over Pierce.

8:09 p.m.: Nenad Krstic is not in the starting lineup for the Thunder, still nursing an ankle injury.

Nick Collison gets the start underneath.

8:01 p.m.: There has been discussion on several fronts about how difficult this game will be for the Celtics as they attempt to finish off a perfect road trip.

The last time the Green went 4-0 on a trip was in Dec. 2007, during which they came into the Ford Center and took care of the Thunder, 104-96.

Paul Pierce had 37 points in that one and has averaged 25.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 19 games against the Oklahoma City franchise, dating back to the Seattle SuperSonics days.

The Celtics’ captain has scored just eight points in both of his last two games. He will contend much of the night with Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who is fourth in the league in scoring at 27.7 points per game.

Starters are in and the usual five of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins will begin things for Boston.

Oklahoma City goes with Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Durant, Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.

7:50 p.m. For the second time this season, the Celtics look to extend a winning streak to seven games when they visit Oklahoma City in the finale of a four-game road trip. We will provide all the analysis right here before and after the 8:00 p.m. tip.

The first three games of the swing have gone about as well as the C’s could have hoped, but this is the first time they will be playing the second half of a back-to-back since Nov. 14, when they fell at Indiana.

Boston carries an NBA-best 8-1 road record into the affair after Thursday night’s 90-83 win at San Antonio. Kevin Garnett scored 20 points, and Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 12 assists.

The Thunder have won three of four after a 117-106 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Kevin Durant scored 33 points for the second time in three games, and Russell Westbrook had a career-high 15 assists.

The Green have won the last five meetings between the teams, dating back to when the Oklahoma City franchise was still in Seattle.

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