Just 24 hours after entertaining the star-studded Lakers at TD Garden, the Boston Celtics found themselves playing host to the more modestly appointed Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.
Following a 37-point performance in Friday’s marquee win, Jayson Tatum’s encore of 33 points (on 11-of-22 shooting) and eight rebounds helped power the Green to a second consecutive victory.
With the 111-105 win – and it wasn’t even that close – the Celtics have won seven of 10 and are now above .500 (9-8) for the first time this season.
Boston’s ball movement was superb in this one, with 28 assists to just seven turnovers. Because of this, a number of Celtics compiled impressive stat lines. Dennis Schröder put up 29 points (on 13-of-22 shooting) and six assists for the hometown team. Grant Williams chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds, while Al Horford dialed up a 10 point, 11 rebound, seven assist performance.
Marcus Smart had eight dimes in the win, while Enes Kanter turned in a double-double in 17 minutes off the bench.
The Celts led by 13 at the half and 15 at the quarter pole. OKC hung around, however, and when Ime Udoka pulled the starters late, the Thunder drove a 12-point deficit down to four with 11 seconds to go. Back in the game, Tatum hit two free throws to put the contest out of reach.
Schröder had 10 points in the first quarter on 5-of-7 shooting as the Celtics built a 30-23 lead. Oklahoma City stayed in it on the strength of their three-point shooting, burying five triples in the opening quarter. They would tally 18 for the game.
Luguentz Dort led the Thunder with 16 points as OKC put five players in double figures. Darius Bazley paced the visitors in two categories with 10 rebounds and six assists.
The homestand continues Monday night, as the Celtics welcome the Houston Rockets to TD Garden. Boston got their first win of the season in Houston back on October 24, the first of 14 consecutive losses for the woeful Rockets. The C’s will look to keep that streak going, with tipoff at 7:30 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Sean Sylver can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Talk hoops with him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.