NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 5th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (13-20) at Oklahoma City Thunder (26-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder ended a two-game losing streak
and will now try to build some momentum Sunday night as they host the Boston
The Thunder lost to the Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets in
consecutive home losses, but atoned for the setbacks with a 115-111 road
victory Saturday over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kevin Durant highlighted his 48-point night by hitting the go-ahead jumper
with 4.0 seconds left that lifted the Thunder to the come-from-behind victory
over the Timberwolves.
With the game tied at 111-111, Durant dribbled off a screen and knocked
through an 18-footer with the Timberwolves' Dante Cunningham in his face, with
the basket enabling the Thunder to overcome a 13-point deficit with under 11
Minnesota had a chance for the win when Kevin Love was fouled by Kendrick
Perkins on a 3-point attempt with 2.2 seconds remaining, but missed the first
two foul shots before an intentional miss failed to hit the rim.
Durant poured in a remarkable 23 points in the final period to nearly single-
handedly lead Oklahoma City back in its eighth consecutive triumph on the
"There are many reasons why I love our guys. They play with a high competitive
spirit. They understand that it is about the team and they don't like to
lose," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
Serge Ibaka, Derek Fisher, Reggie Jackson and rookie Steven Adams all scored
double figures for the Thunder.
The Celtics embark on a three-game road trip the losers of three in a row and
six of their last seven. Boston has dropped three straight on the road, a
place the Celtics have only been four times since Dec. 1.
On Friday, the C's couldn't handle Anthony Davis late and fell at home to the
New Orleans Pelicans, 95-92.
It marked an odd day for the Celtics. They had to stay in Chicago Thursday
night following a defeat in the Windy City because of the winter storm that
pelted the Boston area.
"It's frustrating, three one-point losses in the last three weeks. So that's a
hard thing to swallow, but at the same time it's not like they're laying
down," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "They're coming out and competing and
tonight they had every excuse in the book if they wanted to use it, and they
didn't. They played again. I'm disappointed we couldn't get the win, but I'm
proud of the way they played."
Avery Bradley recorded 22 points in the loss, while Brandon Bass and Jared
Sullinger both had double-doubles in defeat, with Bass compiling 16 points and
11 rebounds and Sullinger posting 13 points and 11 boards.
Jeff Green finished with 16 points and Jordan Crawford handed out 11 assists.
The Celtics will visit the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State
Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers on this odyssey.
The Thunder won five of their last seven against the Celtics and two straight
at home in this series.
01/05 10:40:19 ET