OKLAHOMA CITY — Last nights final score with the Celtics beating the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road 132-124, doesn’t tell the entire story. This game was essentially a blowout. With Jayson Tatum dropping 36 points and 11 rebounds, the C’s had the game in the bag from the jump.
Out the gate—the Celtics were up, and never lost their lead. Starting the game 13-0, the first quarter got away from the Thunder, too much for them to recover. The lead once reaching 20 points in the quarter.
Although the Thunder are one of the worst teams in the league, this win is somewhat impressive. Starting point guard Marcus Smart was out (illness) and so was starting center Robert Williams III (right knee).
With that said, Grant Williams picked up the slack with 20 points, and Payton Pritchard came off the bench with 18 points on five threes. Collectively, the entire team put points up offensively. Jaylen Brown finished with a light 25 points. Derrick White finished with 18 points.
The Celtics may have been leading the game the entire time, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have their issues defensively. With Smart and R. Williams out, it left them without the same presence inside the paint and on the perimeter. Tre Mann dropped 35 points, hitting seven threes. He was abusing White and Al Horford with his quick first step speeding by defenders.
Of course Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was dropping buckets as well—after missing their last game, he finished with 31 points and didn’t miss from deep. The Thunder fought hard after the first quarter. They made a few rallies here and there, but the lead never went back down to single digits until the end of the game. The Celtics showed mental toughness by not letting the lead go, despite having key defensive players injured.
The Celtics have now won nine of their last 10 games. They’ll be battle tested as they’ll face the Utah Jazz Wednesday.