NBA / thunder

devonclements
Celtics offense starts clicking amid second-half comeback over Thunder
After four and a half games, it looks like the Boston Celtics finally found their rhythm offensively. Last night's 101-95 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder started off the same way the last four games have for the Celtics. Missed open shots and sloppy passing lead to turnovers and a 16-point lead for the Thunder going into the half. Boston only scored 16 points in the first quarter and 34 in the first half. They were 0-for-11 from 3-point range in the first 24 minutes. When the Celtics came out of halftime, however, they looked like the championship contending team that we've been expecting. En route to a 40-point third quarter, Boston was 9-of-13 from 3-point range. After not being able to find a basket in the first half, it seemed like they couldn't miss in the second half. Al Horford got the team going in the second half by making three straight 3's. “It felt really good," Horford said during postgame. "Before the second quarter, Kyrie looked and me and was like, ‘hey we have to set the tone and we have to be more aggressive.’ He was right. I started in the third and I tried to do my part and just play with more freedom out there.” The explosion in the third quarter led to a one-point lead for Boston (74-73) which was their first of the game heading into the final 12 minutes of play. The Celtics fell behind by as much as nine points in the fourth quarter. But that didn't matter. In the final four and a half minutes of play, Boston went on a 16-1 run. A part of their run was because of Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who continually missed shots in the dwindling minutes of the game. He finished the night shooting 25 percent from the field (5-for-20) and only had 13 points. It also helped the Boston was in the bonus with nine minutes to go in the fourth, which made things very difficult for Oklahoma City defensively. "We were fortunate to be in the bonus," said Brad Stevens. "We got fouled 94 feet from the basket at least once. Maybe twice. We made free throws. The clock stopped and Morris made huge plays all the way through the game. I thought the whole key to everything we were doing was that our first cuts were harder. That's the way that you loosen up the defense." As mentioned by Boston's head coach Brad Stevens, Celtics forward Marcus Morris was a huge piece to the comeback win Thursday night. He finished the night with 21 points and 10 rebounds. This was the second 20-and-10 game Morris has had as a Celtic. 19 of his 21 points were scored in the second half. He also shot 80 percent from 3-point range (4-of-5). Jayson Tatum also did his usual thing in Game 5 of the regular season. When the rest of the offense was struggling in the first half, Tatum wasn't. He entered halftime with 11 points and because of his made shots was the reason that the Thunder didn't have a larger lead. He finished the day with 24 points and six rebounds, which marks the third game this season that he has scored 20+ points in a game. If there is one consistent part of the Celtics' offense through five games, it's Tatum. Now, as the team sits with a 3-2 record, it's up to the remainder of the crew to step up like they did during the second half of Thursday night's game and put the team back on track as one of, if not the best team in the NBA. Follow me on Twitter (@ClemDevv) for more news and info regarding the Boston Celtics.
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