What a win.
On a night when the Boston Celtics couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half, they did a 180-degree turn offensively in the second half to erase an Oklahoma City lead and escape with arguably their best win of the season.
It wasn’t great because of the opponent, but more so because of how hard they had to work and rally for the victory, which improves their record to 3-2 on the season while the Thunder (0-4) remain winless.
Boston fell behind by as many as 16 points, but a furious rally in the third quarter erased the double-digit deficit. The Thunder maintained a slim lead most of the fourth quarter only for Boston to take its biggest lead of the night – 3 points – following a 3-pointer by Marcus Morris with 27.9 seconds to play.
Following a Thunder time-out, Russell Westbrook launched a three-pointer that hit the back of the rim and was rebounded by Morris which gave the veteran forward a double-double for the game.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 101-95 win.
Al Horford: A key third quarter run by Boston was fueled by Al Horford’s 3-point shooting. He had one of his better scoring games in this still-young NBA season, finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics.
Paul George: Oklahoma City took control of the game from the opening tip, and Paul George’s play was a key factor. He would finish with 22 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder.
Jayson Tatum: For most of the first half, it was Jayson Tatum’s scoring that kept Boston from being blown out. Tatum contributed in several categories for Boston before finishing with a game-high 24 points and six rebounds.
Marcus Morris: Mook continues to make an early push to be in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation. His scoring off the bench in the second half was instrumental in Boston erasing a double-digit deficit and eventually taking the lead. He would eventually finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds (his second double-double his season) which included a go-ahead 3-pointer with 27.9 seconds to play.
Russell Westbrook: Whenever Russell Westbrook steps on the floor, you know the chances of him tallying a triple-double are high. He was very much in that mode on Thursday night as he tallied 13 points on 5-for-20 shooting, to go with 15 rebounds and eight assists.
First half Celtics shooting: Three-point range. Inside the 3-point arc. Free throw line. It didn’t matter. The Celtics struggled making shots in every way imaginable before shooting 31.8 percent from the field while missing all 11 of their 3-point attempts, and 54.5 percent from the line.
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