To the surprise of no one, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook was once again dominating play with his all-around game. The rest of his teammates?
Not so much.
And the Boston Celtics made the most of the struggles of Westbrook’s supporting cast as they go into the half leading the Thunder 43-39.
Points were hard to come by for both teams in the game’s first few minutes, with neither team showing signs of pulling away anytime soon.
In the first half, the largest lead enjoyed by either team was when Boston went ahead 11-6 and finished the quarter with a 24-21 lead.
Boston pulled ahead by as many as six points (29-23) following a driving lay-up by Marcus Smart. The Celtics pushed their lead to seven points following a 3-pointer by Jae Crowder (Smart on the assist) to lead 36-29 with 4:05 to play in the half.
The Thunder chipped away at Boston’s lead and brought it within 38-37, only for Horford to score on a lay-up, Smart on the assist again, to make it a 40-37 game.
After a defensive stop, the Celtics got a 3-pointer from Avery Bradley to go ahead 43-37 only for Russell Westbrook to come back with a driving lay-up that would be the final basket of the half.
Look for him to be even more aggressive in the second half, which is kind of scary when you consider how he has played through the first two quarters. He has a game-high 14 points in addition to six rebounds which is also a game high.
After a horrible 7-point, 2-for-11 night on Friday, Crowder has come back with a vengeance tonight. In the first half, he had a team-high 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
The Celtics are running more of their offense through Horford tonight, with a number of scoring opportunities presenting themselves to him. He has 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting at the half.
A legit candidate for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award, Kanter had a good showing scoring the ball and on the boards. He had 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting in addition to four rebounds.
He has done a solid job of running the Celtics offense tonight. In addition to scoring eight points on 3-for-6 shooting, he also has five assists and three rebounds without a single turnover.
Once again rebounding is an issue for the Celtics, particularly when it comes to the Thunder on the offensive glass. Their 28-19 rebounding advantage also includes a 10-5 edge on offensive rebounds which has factored into Oklahoma City having a 10-5 advantage in second-chance points.