NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 24th (All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (33-10) at Boston Celtics (15-29), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder have beaten some of the NBA's best during their current five-game winning streak and hope to catch a break when they visit the Boston Celtics Friday night at TD Garden.
The Thunder have disposed of Houston, Golden State, Sacramento, Portland and San Antonio on the win streak and are in the midst of playing six of seven games on the road. In Wednesday's 111-105 victory against San Antonio in the Alamo City, NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant kept up his torrid pace with 36 points on 12-of-22 shooting.
Durant, who's averaging 31.0 points per game, has scored 30 or more points in each of his last nine games, posting an average of 33.6 ppg in that impressive stretch. He has reached the 36-point mark on five separate occasions during the run and also finished with seven rebounds and five assists against the Spurs. Durant is averaging an even better 38.1 ppg and shooting 52.0 percent from the field in the previous 11 contests.
Reggie Jackson scored 27 points and Serge Ibaka had 14 and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who shot 54.2 percent for the game and connected on 10-of-18 3- pointers.
"Coach is drawing up some good plays for us and we have a lot of guys who can create for others and create for themselves," Durant said. (Jeremy) Lamb and Reggie did a great job tonight of just being aggressive and knocking down timely shots."
Lamb posted nine points and six assists off the bench.
Oklahoma City, which is a half-game ahead of San Antonio for conference supremacy, leads the Northwest Division by a game in front of the Trail Blazers and is tied with Indiana for the most wins in the NBA with 33. The Thunder will visit Philadelphia Saturday night and are 14-7 as the guest.
The Celtics enter Friday's matchup on a rare high note and are coming off Wednesday's 113-111 overtime triumph against Washington. Gerald Wallace scored the game-winning layup with 2.9 seconds left in overtime and Jeff Green dropped in a season-high 39 points on 14-of-26 shooting.
"I knew I was going to get to the rim and get a shot off," said Wallace. "I didn't know what was going to happen after that."
Jared Sullinger chipped in 14 points and 11 boards, while Phil Pressey contributed 20 points in the win. Boston was outscored 30-15 in the third quarter and 56-38 in the second half, but scored 14 of the 26 points in OT to win for just the second time in the last 14 contests.
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who returned from knee surgery last week, did not play and is questionable Friday.
The Celtics will play two in a row and four of five games at home, and have a 9-12 mark as the host this season.
Boston was beaten by the Thunder, 119-96, back on Jan. 5 in the OKC and has lost five of the previous six matchups between the teams. The Thunder are only 4-10 in their past 14 trips to Beantown.
01/24 10:31:25 ET