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-
"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
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