Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two.
The Celtics kicked-off their West Gauntlet with a nice 3:30 PM tip-off in Oklahoma City. It was a tale of two halves as they looked like a completely different team in the second half and fought for a huge (112-111) win. Without further pandering, lets get into it.
FINALLY! After this recent stretch where the Hospital Celtics have been the wave, they were healthy for their do-si-do with the Thunder.
As for Robert Williams, he’s nearing his return as he’s been sidelined since early December.
The two teams came out of the gate gunning as both Danilo Gallinari and Daniel Theis started off hot. Theis was everywhere on both ends and made a couple of heads up plays. The Celtics trailed 16-12 halfway through the first
Kemba Walker joined in on the festivities as he got this fadeaway to go at the end of the shot clock.
Enes Kanter showed a bit of muscle and grit down low as he had his hands full with his good friend Steven Adams.
After some lackadaisical coverage and inept offense from Boston, the Thunder rolled into a 10-0 run to close the first quarter with a 32-28 lead.
Jayson Tatum started off the second hot as he hit back to back threes to give the Celtics a 34-32 lead as the two teams continued to get up and down at a rampant pace.
After a few rough calls Brad Stevens showed his displeasure with a delightful sound bite.
The Thunder countered the Celtics mini-run with one of their own as they picked on Romeo Langford and went right at him.
A Dennis Schroder layup prompted a Brad Stevens timeout (could’ve been taken a few minutes earlier, I for one am shocked that Brad waited to call a timeout.) as the Thunder darted out to a 51-42 advantage.
Kemba then decided it was time for some buckets as he put in this sweet layup and got fouled on a three-ball.
The first half ended with some sloppy play and a 61-52 advantage for OKC.
Then, to top it all off…
After the free throw, Boston got the offense going with a quick little run to cut the deficit.
Coming out of halftime the energy was way up and the Celtics were flying all over the court as Jayson Tatum began to take over.
The Thunder seemed stymied as the Celtics stepped their game up on both ends. From there, Jaylen Brown returned and made his presence felt with a couple of buckets.
In true Smarf fashion, Marcus drew this bizarre foul and had a little theatrics to go with it.
The Thunder continued to fight as the teams played to a standstill to end the third
Tatum picked up where he left off in the fourth as he continued to roast with this beauty of a drive. This might’ve been the drive of the year for him as the combo-moves he’s showing were some voodoo.
After a Jaylen Brown drive in transition, the Celtics took a 95-91 lead into a Thunder timeout with about 8 minutes to go. Daniel Theis continued to make his presence felt as he battled down low with the Thunder bigs.
It also might be time for Brad to just give up on challenging calls
The Thunder just refused to go away as they tightened it up to 101-99 before Tatum/Kemba decided that they had seen enough.
Things felt bleak for OKC until a couple of poor turnovers by the Celtics brought the Thunder back to within 4 at 110-106.
Then to seal it, Marcus Smart pilfered SGA to slam the door shut as the Celtics come away with a 112-111 victory.
I just can’t get over the plays he’s able to make. He always seems to have a knack for making a big defensive play when the game is on the line and it’s something this team needs to be successful. It’s what we like to call “winning plays”, and boy does he make a lot of them.
All in all, a fantastic win for a team looking to start one of the tougher stretches of their season. The Celtics head to Houston for their next game with the Rockets.