16-1 closing run carries Celtics past Thunder

October 26, 2018 - 12:28 PM
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Boston Celtics
Oct 25, 2018; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) passes the ball around Oklahoma City Thunder defenders during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Boston won 101-95. (Reuters via USA Today/Alonzo Adams)

Marcus Morris’ tiebreaking 3-pointer with 28.7 seconds left lifted the Boston Celtics to a 101-95 win over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.

Morris’ shot punctuated a 16-1 run by the Celtics over the final 4:14.

The game was similar to last season’s meeting between the teams in Oklahoma City, when the Celtics trailed by 18 at halftime before coming back to win 101-94.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 24 points while Morris added 21 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Al Horford had 19 points and nine boards, and Kyrie Irving scored 15 points.

Paul George led the Thunder with 22 points but was just 7 of 22 from the field and 2 of 10 from behind the 3-point arc. Russell Westbrook contributed 13 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, but he hit just 5 of 20 field-goal attempts, including 0 of 5 from 3-point range.

Oklahoma City was just 25 percent (7 of 28) on 3-point attempts and missed 11 of 25 free throws.

The win continued Boston’s pattern of alternating wins and losses and improved the Celtics to 3-2. Oklahoma City fell to 0-4 for the first time since the franchise relocated in 2008-09.

The Thunder dominated the first half, steadily building a lead that bloomed to 16 by halftime.

In the third quarter, though, Boston came on strong.

After missing all 12 of their first-half 3-point attempts, the Celtics found the range from beyond the arc in the third quarter, going 9 of 13 on 3-point tries to lead 74-73 lead going into the fourth.

Oklahoma City looked on the brink of putting the game away when Alex Abrines drilled a 3-pointer with just less than five minutes remaining to put the Thunder up 92-85.

It was Abrines’ second 3-pointer in less than 30 seconds.

That came in the midst of a span of 5:40 without a field goal for Boston.

However, free throws kept the Celtics in striking distance, and Irving broke the field-goal drought with 3:12 left to pull Boston within three.

The Celtics tied it with just under a minute remaining on an Irving layup, and then Tatum’s defensive rebound of a Westbrook missed 3-point try set up Morris’ shot.

—Field Level Media