Celtics Roll Through Oklahoma City For Fifth Straight Win


Nov 7, 2010

Celtics Roll Through Oklahoma City For Fifth Straight WinFinal: Celtics 92, Thunder 83. Kevin Durant goes off for 34 points, but it's not nearly enough. The Celtics slam the door on Oklahoma City for their fifth consecutive win.

Despite a titanic effort in the second half from Durant and Russell Westbrook, the C's hold on for a comfortable victory. A lack of depth exposes the Thunder, who don't have it in them to charge all the way back.

Ray Allen finishes with 19 points and Paul Pierce, 17 for the Celtics. Rajon Rondo quietly pieces together another double-double with exactly 10 points and 10 assists.

The C's have no time to bask in this one. They head right to Dallas, where they'll take on the Mavericks on Monday night on the second stop of their four-city tour.

Fourth quarter, 2:55, Celtics 90-77: Kevin Durant has 33 points, but it won't be enough unless he explodes for another 15 in the final minutes.

The Celtics have played a terrible fourth quarter, but they're still on the verge of sneaking out of OKC with a win.

Fourth quarter, 3:53, Celtics 88-75: The Celtics have been held scoreless for a solid three minutes. This isn't the best way to finish the deal.

The C's still have a double-digit cushion, but if Durant really turns it on, he's got OKC within striking distance. You just can't ever count the guy out.

Fourth quarter, 6:55, Celtics 88-71: If I had a nickel for every time Ray Allen crushed an opponent's soul with a fourth-quarter 3, I'd retire young.

Ray nails his third trifecta of the night here, making it a 17-point Boston lead with under seven minutes to play.

Scott Brooks has called for a full timeout for OKC. He might soon call for a full surrender.

Fourth quarter, 8:27, Celtics 83-69: Semih Erden is showing a Durant-like knack for getting to the free-throw line.

Semih knocks down two shots here, pushing the Boston lead back to 14.

Ray Allen is out there with four reserves at the moment. Doc will start to slowly roll out his crunch-time five over the next couple minutes. The Thunder need to take a stand now.

Fourth quarter, 10:11, Celtics 77-67: Leave it to Nate Robinson and Glen Davis to bring the energy in the fourth quarter for the Celtics.

Nate to Baby for back-to-back jumpers. The C's push their lead from six back to 10.

If Doc Rivers can ride the second unit from here to the six-minute mark without squandering this lead, the C's should be in good shape. They would love to avoid overextending their starters on the first night of a back-to-back. Dallas will not be a cakewalk by any means on Monday night.

Fourth quarter, 11:14, Celtics 73-67: James Harden buries a 3. You're officially looking at a two-possession game.

The Celtics are really imploding. They need to get some stops.

End of third quarter, Celtics 73-64: When two guys combine for 24 points against you in one quarter, you know you're in trouble.

Thirteen points for Russell Westbrook and 11 for Durant in the third. Durant now with 31 overall for the Thunder, who close the quarter on a 13-2 run and are now within striking distance.

The Celtics look tired and lazy in the second half. They've got to snap out of it and work hard for 12 minutes to hold this lead.

Third quarter, 2:47, Celtics 73-62: Russell Westbrook has 13 points and Kevin Durant nine in this third quarter. The rest of the Thunder are completely scoreless.

Doc Rivers is furious with his team's defensive effort. The C's are letting those two guys run all over them. It's an 11-2 run for OKC, and the home crowd is really into it.

If the Celtics aren't careful, they'll let Westbrook and Durant ride this momentum all the way back.

Third quarter, 5:52, Celtics 71-51: OKC's little surge doesn't last. Ray Allen comes up with a pair of nice jumpers including a monster 25-footer, and the C's lead is back to 20 again.

Ray now has 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He's had a solid week for the Celtics, and this is quite a performance to cap it all off.

Third quarter, 7:43, Celtics 64-49: Russell Westbrook might be starting to wake up — he had one point in the first half of this game, and he's suddenly exploded for seven in the last minute.

The Celtics' lead has withered from 20 down to 15. Doc Rivers has called a timeout. He needs a better effort defensively against Westbrook.

Third quarter, 8:28, Celtics 64-44: Jermaine O'Neal hasn't been much of a factor offensively, but he's putting up monster numbers in a sense — nine rebounds and two blocks.

When a guy can defend, crash the boards and solidify the team's presence inside, any offense is just gravy.

J.O.'s a big reason the Celtics lead this one by 20.

Third quarter, 10:18, Celtics 60-40: Paul Pierce gets the Celtics on the board in the second half with a fadeaway jumper.

Pierce now has 15 points to lead the Celtics. He started slow, but he's come on strong as he's stopped pressing and let the game come to him.

The Thunder need someone besides Durant to show up. Badly.

Halftime, Celtics 58-37: It's another monster performance from Kevin Durant, but the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder look like they forgot to show up for this one.

Durant has 17 of his team's 37 points, and the Thunder trail the visiting Celtics by 21 at the break.

Rajon Rondo gives the C's a solid all-around effort in the first half with six points, eight assists, three rebounds and three steals. Paul Pierce has 13 points and Ray Allen 11 for Boston.

Nate Robinson beats the buzzer with a ridiculous off-balance 3 to run up the score.

This is an ugly night for OKC.

Second quarter, 2:51, Celtics 45-34: The Celtics have their starting five back on the floor, and they're rolling. The Thunder haven't made a basket in about two and a half minutes, and they haven't gotten a single point from anyone but Kevin Durant since the 8:21.

This is what the Celtics can do with a solid team effort on the defensive end.

Durant has 15 points overall. The rest of the Thunder have combined for 19.

Second quarter, 5:32, Celtics 40-31: The Celtics open their widest lead of the game in style — Jermaine O'Neal blocks a shot and fires an outlet pass to Rajon Rondo, who runs the break and gets a layup for Glen Davis. The crowd in OKC seems none too happy.

This is shaping up to be a solid first half for Rondo after a shaky start. The point guard's now got four points, six assists, three rebounds and a steal, and we've still got a ways to go before halftime.

Second quarter, 8:42, Celtics 34-29: Kevin Durant's already gotten to the line four times against the Celtics in this one, and he's hit all four.

We might be looking at the return of "Michael [bleeping] Jordan" in this one.

Is there any way to contain KD without hacking him? The Celtics haven't found it.

Second quarter, 10:10, Celtics 32-25: The Celtics are really counting on Nate Robinson to bring instant offense when the second unit takes the floor.

As a speedy little guy that can create his own shot, Nate knows there's a chance for him to shine in this matchup. He's made a couple of boneheaded mistakes already, turning one ball over and falling asleep once against Eric Maynor, but he's also hit a couple shots.

Nate's four points have kept the C's up seven, 32-25.

End of first quarter, Celtics 28-21: A pair of All-Star forwards named Kevin are treating us to a good old-fashioned shootout in Oklahoma City.

The Celtics' Garnett leads the way with six points on 2-of-4 shooting, four rebounds, an assist and a steal. OKC's Durant is 4-of-6 from the field — he's got 10 points already, to go with two rebounds and a steal.

The C's pull away toward the end of the quarter, with Semih Erden hopping off the bench and closing the quarter with a three-point play. Boston by seven at the break.

First quarter, 2:31, Thunder 19-18: Rondo's picking his game up now. All in one fell swoop, Rondo scoops up a loose ball off a bad Durant pass, heaves it downcourt to Marquis Daniels, and picks up the assist as Daniels finishes at the rim.

Rondo has four assists — and as I finish typing this, he picks up his fifth. The guy moves too quickly for words.

First quarter, 4:21, 14-14: The Celtics are doing a great job getting open jumpers early. The execution has been flawless offensively.

A beautiful screen on Thabo Sefolosha by Kevin Garnett frees up Ray Allen for an open 18-footer. Ray's given the C's their last four points, and they're now tied 14-14.

First quarter, 5:43, 10-10: For the zillionth time this season, Kevin Garnett is off to a blazing start in the first quarter.

KG's got six points, four rebounds and a steal early, shooting 2-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line. Krstic doesn't seem to have the versatility defensively to keep up with KG — one minute he's slashing, the next he's knocking down a shot from outside. It's just too much for the young Thunder big man.

First quarter, 7:04, Thunder 10-8: An 8-2 run has given the Thunder their first lead.

Here's what you notice about this Thunder team offensively — they're always getting good shots, because they're all so long that they're impossible to contest. Nenad Krstic and Serge Ibaka have four points each, and it's because they're just so effective at lofting jump shots up over smaller defenders.

The C's have matchup concerns all over the place.

First quarter, 9:26, Celtics 6-4: Rajon Rondo doesn't look like himself tonight. A telling play here — first he plays off the ball as Ray Allen handles the point guard duties, then he fails to get himself involved as the C's isolate Paul Pierce for a shot, then Rondo gives a half-hearted attempt at beating Russell Westbrook to the rebound. Then Rondo smacks into Westbrook, a clear foul, and complains about the obvious call to the officials.

Rondo has battled foot pain all week. Maybe it's getting to him, because he hasn't played well to start this game.

First quarter, 10:20, Celtics 4-2: The fans at Oklahoma City Arena have a custom of remaining standing until the Thunder score for the first time. Against the C's, they're forced to stand for a while.

After a couple of failed OKC possessions Serge Ibaka finds the bottom of the net, but not before the Celtics take an early lead.

7 p.m.: A couple of injury notes.

For the Celtics, there will be no Shaquille O'Neal against the Thunder — Jermaine O'Neal will start in place of the slowly healing Shaq.

For OKC, there'll be no Jeff Green, who's out with a sprained ankle. Between Green and Nick Collison, the Thunder have two injured power forwards — that means that two centers will start. Nenad Krstic and Serge Ibaka will both be on the floor for the opening tip.

5:30 p.m.: The big question for the Celtics going into this one: Will Shaq play?

Shaquille O'Neal was originally recovering slowly from the bruised right knee that kept him out of action earlier this week, and the initial plan was to leave him at home on the Celtics' four-game road trip. But as Shaq has looked better this weekend, he's now with the team and potentially available to play.

Since the C's have a roster spot open with Delonte West's suspended spot being moved to the inactive list, Shaq will probably be on the active roster against OKC. But will he play? That's a game-time decision.

8 a.m.: Has any NBA team endured a more dramatic first week of November than the Celtics just did?

As the C's hit the road this weekend, they put behind them a week that included two dramatic overtime contests, a host of injury concerns and a national scandal surrounding something that may or may not have been said on the court in the heat of battle.

Now they've got to put all that behind them. Up next is a road trip that will test the mettle of the 5-1 Celtics — Oklahoma City, Dallas, Miami and Memphis are on the itinerary for a C's team that hasn't yet faced the challenge of a tough Western Conference foe.

The Thunder are first on the Celtics' murderers' row. The C's will spend an evening trying to stop the early favorite for MVP in 2011, Kevin Durant. Or at the very least, they'll hope to contain him. The Durantula can't be stopped by anyone these days.

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