Boston at Oklahoma City
1:00 P.M. ET
Chesapeake Energy Arena
Boston: 100.5 points/100 possessions (21st)
Oklahoma City: 110.9 points/100 possessions (1st)
Boston: 99.3 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
Oklahoma City: 99.7 points allowed/100 possessions (7th)
Probable Thunder Starters:
Russell Westbrook (PG), Thabo Sefolosha (SG), Kevin Durant (SF), Serge Ibaka (PF), and Kendrick Perkins (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Daily Thunder
Thumbnail: Just over two years ago, the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, cash and a draft pick. Then, on November 23, 2012, Green faced his former team for the first time and scored 17 points, his season-high at that point in the season. While Green as well as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry did the bulk of the scoring that night, Rajon Rondo as always was the floor general as he dished out 16 assists and grabbed eight rebounds. It was an impressive performance by Rondo because only twice in 2012-13 was he able to reach those plateaus.
More than three months later, Jeff Green returns to Oklahoma City with the revamped Celtics, who enter Sunday on a five-game winning streak. Boston and Oklahoma City have two of the five longest current winning streaks in the NBA. In addition, they are both 9-1 in their last 10 home games and 5-5 in their last 10 road games. Unfortunately for Boston, this game is in Oklahoma City, where the third-best home team in the league resides. However, the Celtics have seemed to find their stroke recently away from TD Garden. They have won four of their last five away games, the team’s best road stretch in almost a year. A win at Chesapeake Energy Arena would push the Celtics road winning streak to four games, their one longest since 2010.
In order for the Celtics to continue their streak, Pierce will have to keep up his fantastic play. On Friday against the Hawks, he went for 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. It was the fourth time in the last three months that Pierce reached those plateaus. Moreover, that became the first time that he has had four such games within three months since 2003-04. The Truth will have to lead a strong scoring performance for the Celtics on Sunday because the Thunder are 20-0 this season when holding opponents to fewer than 100 points at home.
Prediction: Boston fights hard, but Oklahoma City is victorious in a close game. The Celtics are unable to accomplish their first season series sweep against the Thunder since 2008-09.
Thunder 104, Celtics 99
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