The Boston Celtics finally picked up a victory on the second night of a back-to-back, taking down the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 111-94. This game was a lot more competitive than the score suggests, as the Celtics went on a huge run in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both scored 25+ points to lead the C’s, while they also got some helpful contributions from the bench to help them out.
For the first half, this game looked like it was going to be a repeat of how the Celtics other back-to-back sets would go. The Celtics looked tired for most of the first half, as they couldn’t hit their shots and were getting dominated by Moses Brown on both ends of the court. Brown put up 17 points and 19 rebounds in the first half alone, and was the main reason the Thunder held a lead heading into the half. With Tatum and Brown struggling for most of the first half, Payton Pritchard stepped up and scored all 12 of his points in the first half to keep the C’s afloat, which turned out to be a huge contribution from the rookie guard.
The Celtics looked much better coming out in the third quarter offensively, but couldn’t slow down the Thunder much on the other end. Brown dropped 13 in the quarter to lead the C’s offense, making in a four point game going into the fourth. The Celtics proceeded to outscore OKC 35-14 in the fourth, and turn a close game into a blowout. Tatum took his turn to lead the offense by dropping 13 in the quarter himself, as the Thunder just couldn’t find a way to score. The momentum fully shifted when recent trade deadline addition Luke Kornet came off the bench and knocked down two consecutive threes to give Boston a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Celtics finally stepped up in the clutch and came away with a big win to put themselves back at the .500 mark. It wasn’t always pretty, but the C’s finally came to life in the fourth quarter and came away with the victory. Whereas they’ve faltered in the fourth for most of the season, Boston now has back-to-back victories where they were able to put the game to rest in the final frame, which is a great sign for a team that has struggled as much as they have this season. The Eastern Conference is an absolute mess, and the Celtics are only a game out of the #4 seed despite being at #7 right now, so there is still a ton of time for them to make a charge back up to a respectable seed in the standings.
The Celtics got this win by getting contributions from all over the roster in this one, which is something that hasn’t happened enough this season. We’ve already looked at Pritchard and Kornet’s helpful performances, but it doesn’t stop there. Carsen Edwards came off the bench and poured in 12 points himself, which was huge, especially when you consider Kemba Walker was inactive for this one. Rob Williams continued to do a little bit of everything, putting up 9 points and 14 rebounds, along with two assists, steals, and blocks apiece. His versatility has been hugely helpful for the Celtics, and it’s no surprise his inclusion in the starting lineup has coincided with this strong stretch of play recently.
The Celtics now carry this momentum into a seven game homestand that kicks off tomorrow night against the New Orleans Pelicans. It will be the first time the Celtics will be allowing fans in the TD Garden in over a year, and you can bet that the fans and players will be amped up for this game. The Pelicans have been a streaky team this season, but appear to be on one of their hot streaks currently. Zion Williamson in particular has been on fire recently, as he has dropped 39 and 38 points in his two most recent games. The Celtics are going to have figure out how to slow down Zion if they want to keep their mini win streak going.
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