Paul Pierce had 27 points on the night as the Boston Celtics bounced back with a huge win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-100, from the TD Garden Friday night in Boston, MA.
Opening the third quarter was what Celtics fans expected when general manager Danny Ainge worked his magic to make the strongest bench in recent memory.
Thanks to a Jason Terry three to close the half, Boston led 48-45, but was fully intent on pushing that lead further. And thanks to Jeff Green, Boston was able to do just that. Green scored nine points in the third quarter and had seven of Boston's points as they went on an 11-0 run at the end of the third, leading 77-65.
The Celtics attacked the rim consistently for the first time all year, only taking eight of their 19 shots beyond nine feet. It was a welcome change, as Green and rookie Jared Sullinger controlled the pace of the game and played scintillating defense, full with crisp rotations and jumping passes to the extra man.
The fourth would be more of the same, with Pierce in full takeover mode. He scored seven-straight points, and 12 in the final frame alone, as Boston attempted to fend off a furious Oklahoma City comeback attempt.
The Thunder would chip away at the lead throughout the quarter, but Boston used their veteran presence to control the game, never losing their composure. A 2:27 scoring drought allowed Oklahoma City to make it a three-point game with 1:01 left in the game, but thanks to clutch Kevin Garnett free throws, Boston would extend it to a five-point lead.
On the very next possession, Jason Terry would hit a huge three, sealing the win and giving Boston a true statement victory if there ever was one.
The Celtics shot 48 percent from the field, while OKC notched 46 percent on the night. The Thunder would out rebound Boston, 40-36, but only held a 46-36 point differential in the paint.
Rajon Rondo notched 16 assists on the night, making it 36-straight games in which he has recorded 10 or more assists.
|Final - 11.23.2012
|Oklahoma City Thunder
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