Oklahoma City Thunder (46-16, 27-4 home) at Boston Celtics (34-27, 12-18 away)
Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 12:00 pm
TV: ABC (5 DirecTV, 8 Cox, 5 AT&T U-Verse, 5 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: OKC favored by 10.5. O/U – 200.5
|PG:||Russell Westbrook||Avery Bradley|
|SG:||Thabo Sefolosha||Courtney Lee|
|SF:||Kevin Durant||Paul Pierce|
|PF:||Serge Ibaka||Brandon Bass|
|C:||Kendrick Perkins||Kevin Garnett|
|6th:||Kevin Martin||Jason Terry|
Last Time: Oklahoma City fell to the Boston Celtics 108-100 at the Boston TD Garden back on November 23rd. Russell Westbrook almost had a triple-double. But it was Paul Pierce who was the one who destroyed the Thunder, dropping 27 points as the Celtics were the last loss before Oklahoma City went on that 12-game winning streak.
This marks the return of Jeff Green to the Chesapeake Energy Arena as the Boston Celtics travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder live on ABC at noon. He hasn’t played a legitimate ball game here since February 22, 2011. Jeff Green was a fan favorite in Oklahoma City. As you read here, we should applaud Jeff Green for the start of the game. I hope the team does a tribute video. He definitely deserves it.
The Thunder are coming off a 114-94 blow out of the Charlotte Bobcats. You know it’s bad when Hasheem Thabeet almost had a double-double. He had eight points, eight rebounds. Six different players scored in double figures in the victory. Oklahoma City used a 19-0 run to start the second quarter which saw a two-point Charlotte lead turn into a 17-point Thunder lead. Oklahoma City never looked back. They led by as many as 30 in the game.
Boston is coming into Oklahoma City after defeating the Atlanta Hawks 107-102 in overtime.
After holding a 12-point lead with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter, the Celtics needed an overtime rally to beat the Hawks 107-102 on Friday night. The Celtics had four field goals in the OT and three of them came from beyond the arc, including Jason Terry’s tiebreaker with 35 seconds remaining put Boston ahead to stay. Terry, Jeff Green and Paul Pierce all hit 3-pointers in the OT, and the Celtics held the Hawks without a field goal over the final 2:14. Pierce finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Garnett had 17 points and eight rebounds and Terry scored 19, 11 more than Atlanta’s reserves combined
Since losing Rajon Rondo to an ACL injury, the Celtics actually 14-4 without the All-Star point guard. This team is scoring more and playing better defense. They’re scoring almost 100 points per game at 99.3 ppg, and then allowing just 90.8 ppg. Boston has committed itself to playing sound defense and scoring. That’s pretty much how you win ball games.
Also, these players are veterans. They know when they’re star goes down, they all need to step up, they all have. Green is averaging almost four more points against since Rondo went down. Not to mention that Avery Bradley, a defensive specialist, replaced Rondo and has done a fantastic job in his absence.
Since the Thunder came to OKC, the team is 4-5 overall against the Celtics. Oklahoma City lost the last match up against the Celtics as stated above. Before that the Thunder had won three straight against the Celtics. Oklahoma City trails the overall series 64-58. In Oklahoma City the Thunder are just 1-3.
There are no significant injuries to report for tonight’s game for Oklahoma City.
For Boston, we know Rondo is out for the season. Also Jared Sullinger is out for the season with back spasms that he suffered back on February 1st.
Keys to the Game
Oklahoma City wants to a win a game versus a team that knows how to punish you off turnovers? They’ll have to keep them low. While Boston isn’t the worst team, they’re right in the middle. So, they have their good games and their bad games. Oklahoma City needs to limit turnovers today.
The Celtics aren’t very good at rebounding. They’re averaging just 40.1 rebounds per game. That ranks them 29th in the association. That then pushes the Celtics to last place in second chance points. The Celtics average just under 10 second chance points per game. Oklahoma City need to grab all the defensive boards today.
Throughout the League. The Thunder aren’t known for their strong starts. Oklahoma City knows how to put it on during the second and third quarters. A stat came out and when a team wins the first quarter. Tthey’re is a credence that really good teams win the first quarter. Let’s do that O-K-C.
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