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Celtics Fall to Thunder

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The Celtics tried to rally late in the fourth quarter, but the Oklahoma City Thunder, playing without Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, opened things up early and held on for an 89-84 victory. 

  • The Celtics weren't very sharp for most of the game, particularly on defense through the first three quarters. It didn't help when Kevin Garnett was forced to the bench just minutes into the game after getting accidentally smacked on the back of the head by Russell Westbrook. Did everyone see the size of that lump? Yikes.
  • Oklahoma City never put the game completely out of reach, but the Celtics were unable to get the stops they needed for most of the night. Westbrook was the hero for the Thunder, as he scored a game-high 31 points. His offense stalled in the fourth quarter (credit Delonte West's defense), but he buried two free throws with 13.4 seconds left to put the Thunder up 87-84.
  • The Thunder shot over 55 percent from the field through the first three quarters, but then shot just 2-18 in the fourth quarter when Boston's defense finally showed up. Unfortunately, that was enough for OKC tonight.
  • Boston outscored Oklahoma City 44-16 in the paint. Shaquille O'Neal shot 5-5 in the first quarter for 10 points, but didn't score another field goal for the rest of the game. The C's might have been better off utilizing him more in the paint, as none of Oklahoma City's big men were capable of guarding him. 
  • Joey Crawford loves his whistle.
  • The Celtics took 27 free throws, but made only 17 of them. That hurt. Boston was also out-rebounded 37-31. Garnett only pulled down two boards tonight. Granted, so many shots were falling for both teams through the first three quarters that there wasn't necessarily a large helping of rebounds to go around. 
  • Garnett wasn't the only Celtic who got banged up tonight. Rajon Rondo sat out the majority of the final half of the fourth quarter with what looked like a sore or maybe even strained left hamstring. Hamstrings can be tricky injuries, so hopefully it's nothing serious. Delonte West filled in at the point down the stretch, and even though he missed a game-tying three-pointer on the Celtics' final possession, his defense on Westbrook was huge in the final frame. Paul Pierce also took a knee to the thigh, and Nick Collison also fell pretty hard on his right foot. Couldn't have felt very good.
  • The Celtics will be back in action Sunday at 1:00pm when they take on the Toronto Raptors. We'll keep you updated on the injuries, but of the slew that occurred tonight, only Rondo's looked to be really troublesome.