Marcus Smart, Celtics beat Oklahoma City Thunder 100-85
Celtics get 100-85 win over OKC
Despite trailing for a majority of the game, the Celtics used an 17-2 run to open the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-85.
Marcus Smart played one of the best games of his young career, leading the team with 26 points on 9-14 shooting, eight rebounds and some stellar defense on Russell Westbrook. Isaiah Thomas added 20 points and eight assists and Avery Bradley chipped in 14 off the bench. As a team, the Celtics shot 39.1 percent from three-point range and out-rebounded the Thunder 47-34. The C's defense held the Thunder to just 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Westbrook had a game-high 27 points and Serge Ibaka was the only other OKC player in double-figures with 16 points.
After getting down early (12-7), the C's locked down on the defensive end and got some key baskets from Smart, who finished the first quarter with nine points. Boston was able to fight back from the early deficit to end the opening frame in a 24-24 tie.
Defense sparked an early run for the C's in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Kelly Olynyk picked off a pass in the paint, ran the floor and dropped off a nice assist to David Lee. After promising play on both ends of the floor, the Thunder stormed back and got out to a 37-31 lead. Two corner threes from Kyle Singler extended the lead and OKC took control of the game for the rest of the half. The Thunder headed into the locker room with a 53-45 advantage.
The team shot 47.6 percent from the field in the first half but their 12 first-half turnovers hurt them. Smart picked up a technical down the stretch in the second quarter after arguing a foul call when guarding Westbrook.
Ibaka continued his hot shooting to start the third quarter. After killing the C's with mid-range jump shots, Ibaka nailed two straight to open the second half.
Smart continued to drive the ball in the second half and go toe-to-toe with Westbrook. The two battled throughout the game and Smart was every bit up to the task. Playing just down the road from his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, probably didn't hurt either.
The C's closed the gap late in the third corner, cutting the lead to just two on a three-pointer from Smart. The Thunder played with the lead for most of the first half and into the third quarter, but were never able to put the game out of reach. Boston scrapped their way back every time OKC made a run and went into the fourth quarter trailing 74-72.
Photo Credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo
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