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The Boston Celtics overcome a 16-point deficit to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-95 on the road for their third win of the season.

They say you live or die by the three-ball, and that was the case for the Celtics tonight. On the road against a hungry, 0-3 Thunder team, Boston struggled to find their shot (or anything, really) in the first half. It was a tale of two halves, though, as the Celts flipped a switch and stormed back in the second half after riding the hot three-point shooting.

1Q

It was another slow start for the Celtics, a trend that has haunted Boston in this young season. Stop me if you heard this before, but the starters struggled to knock down shots - even when wide open - and opened on just 1-7 shooting.

Paul George and Steven Adams opened the game strong, hitting five of their eight attempts and giving the Thunder an early nine-point edge over Boston. George was outscoring the C's all by himself. It was overall just an ugly start to the night:



The Celtics offense still doesn't seem to operate naturally at this point in the season, and it was again evident in this first quarter. Guys were either making too many passes, or not enough (isolation plays). They seemed to be forcing everything. Worse, they were telegraphing passes and making it easy for the Thunder to pick off passes or lock down Boston's movement. Despite poor shooting, they continued to take outside shots.

However, roles slighly reversed later in the quarter as Boston began settling in and OKC missed eight straight shots. Four different Celtics powered a 10-3 run to end the quarter, capped off by this Jayson Tatum slam on George:



All said and done, the C's trailed by just six at the close of the opening 12 minutes.

BOS 16, OKC 22

2Q

The second quarter was much of the same for the C's offense. The Thunder, who weren't shooting tremendously well themselves, stayed on top by continuously attacking and getting to the rack. Dennis Schroder and Nerlens Noel played a great two-man game early in the second, preserving and adding to their lead.

Tatum was the lone bright spot for Brad Stevens, as the 20-year-old sophomore scored nine more points in the quarter. He was really one of the only Celtics worthy of a highlight play, like this smooth take and finish near the hoop:



Other than Tatum, the rest of the Celtics capable starters were a combined 5-18. Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown both failed to register a field goal, and Kyrie Irving was still uncharacteristically off.

The C's continued to fall behind despite Russell Westbrook's mere six points. They finished the half 0-11 from three, 6-11 from the free-throw line (they started 1-5), 32% from the field as a whole, and trailing the Thunder by 16.

Halftime: BOS 34, OKC 50

3Q

The second half was a refreshing sight for both sides, as the shots began to fall in a hurry. Hayward got his first shot to fall 13 seconds into the half when he hit a trey to snap Boston's 11-straight three-point misses. Kyrie, Brown, and Tatum all knocked down long-balls to start the quarter 4-6 from downtown.

Then it was Al Horford's turn. The stretch big man drilled three straight treys, cutting the deficit to six and contributing to Boston's sharp 8-11 three-point shooting. All this after they couldn't buy a three in the first half:



The Celtics defense was doing their part, too. After zero fastbreak buckets in the game, Boston got five points in transition, thanks in part to Scary Terry Rozier:



OKC's two All-Stars, Westbrook and George, held down the fort as best they could during Boston's three-point bombardment. The duo scored seven points apiece, combining for 14 of Oklahoma City's 23 total 3Q points.

Marcus Morris carried the scoring torch from the starters into the end of the third quarter, as the forward poured in eight of Boston's final 10 points. The green outscored the Thunder 40-23 in the quarter to take their first lead of the night into the final frame.

BOS 74, OKC 73

4Q

Morris picked up right where he left off, putting up five early 4Q points. However, Patrick Patterson was ready to match it. The OKC stretch forward scored seven points by himself to offset Morris' bursts of production.

As Boston's offense soon cooled off, a pair of back-to-back Alex Abrines treys ignited a small 10-2 Thunder run. The C's quickly answered, though, as Irving and Tatum hit some big-time shots.

The star of the night however was Marcus Morris. He came up huge down the stretch for Boston, scoring six points in the final four minutes and knocking down the biggest shot of the night that ultimately put the Celts ahead for good:



A few defensive stops later, and the Celtics emerged victorious with a great comeback win, as the Thunder drop to 0-4 in the process.

Tatum was the the game's leading scorer with 24 points, while Morris put up an impactful 21 points and 10 boards. Horford contributed 19 points and 9 rebounds. The Celtics will next be in action Saturday night in Detroit against the undefeated Pistons.

Final: BOS 101, OKC 95


Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo via @Celtics

Erik Johnson 10/25/2018 10:48:00 PM Edit
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