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Celtics edge past tough Thunder 112-111

Celtics hold on in a pressure cooker environment, extend the win streak to 7.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Boston hit the road looking for win number 7 in a row in a Sunday Matinee at Oklahoma City Thunder. The good news for C’s prior to the tip was that the full compliment of starters would be back after suffering from various niggles and injuries.

With Brad using a deep bench through the last stretch of games it was refreshing to see the main guys back in the lineup. Jaylen Brown hit on his first smooth jumper and Daniel Theis slip behind defenders for a dunk on his first shot attempt, a few plays later Theis stretched Steven Adams out for an early triple.

OKC were white hot to start the game behind sharp shooting Danilo Gallinari (24 pts). The addition of Chris Paul (19 pts, 5 asts) to the Thunder alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (24 pts) has been extremely productive for OKC as they are currently sixth place in the tough Western conference. Big man Steven Adams is always a handful and he snapped up 3 first quarter offensive boards as the Thunder went on a 10-0 run to end the quarter up 32-28.

Jayson Tatum (26 pts, 11 rebs ) is having a brilliant shooting week after finding out he was selected as a first time All Star. Tatum is averaging 32.5 points per game this past week hitting on 5 threes against the Magic and then 7 threes against the Hawks two nights ago. In a dynamic stretch to start the 2nd quarter, JT hit on a pair of threes and then rejected Nerlens Noel who was looking for certain 2 points. Tatum has really improved defensively and this help defensive play was just not in his mindset last season.

Brad Wanamaker (2 pts, 4 asts, 4 rebs) is one of those heady players for the C’s who does all that is asked of him and has been a solid bench contributor all season. Early in this one he found former Thunder player Enes Kanter wide open for the sweet dime. Into the second quarter, Wanamaker poked the ball away from Chris Paul and went the distance for the easy layup.

Oklahoma had a 10-point lead at halftime but the Celtics came out aggressive to start the second half as the lead evaporated behind an offensive outburst by Jayson Tatum. Tatum was hitting from the outside and also challenging the OKC defenders at the rim.

After leaving the game briefly with yet another ankle issue, Jaylen Brown (17 pts, 3-7 from three) adjusted his sneakers for a few and would return to comfortably step into an open three pointer. Boston showed resolve to turn this one around on the road against a decent blue collar team like OKC as the teams were deadlocked 84 apiece heading into the final stanza.

With JT and JB starting the fourth quarter alongside Smart, Kanter and Wanamaker. Smart stripped Steven Adams high outside the key and fed Jayson Tatum for the streaking breakaway jam.

The pressure cooker environment saw the game go down to the wire. It took yet another winning play from you guessed it, Smart with the steal to seal this victory - wow.

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