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Recap: Thunder’s late threes bury Celtics

Chuck - Red's Army January 16, 2012 Uncategorized 18 Comments

KDurant

The Celtics put forth one helluva effort tonight, but they still fell to the Thunder, 97-88. You know they've reached rock bottom when I'm crediting effort.

The Cs whittled a 10 point deficit down to 3 with 2 minutes remaining, but Russell Westbrook (26 points, 7 rebounds 4 assists, 3 steals) and Thabo Sefolosha (19 points) each nailed two three-pointers to seal the game. 

The Thunder tried to give this game away. They gave up 15 offensive rebounds to the Celtics and were out-rebounded 48-40. They had some horrific defensive lapses. But whenever the Cs went on a run and cut the lead (how about playing ahead for a change?), they followed it with a series of awful turnovers (18 total) and let OKC pull back ahead.

Paul Pierce (24 points, 8-15 FG) played his best game of the season. He repeatedly attacked the rim with his trademark crafty moves.

KG made just 5 of his 19 shots. He finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds and a team high 5 turnovers. Mickael Pietrus (14 points, 3-6 3 FG) was the only bench player to contribute. Brandon Bass was a non-factor.

Rajon Rondo (12 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists) nearly tallied a triple-double. 

Jermaine O'Neal had the worst double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) ever recorded. He must have had his shot blocked a half-dozen times.

Kendrick Perkins had 7 points and 5 rebounds in his return to the Garden. Ho-hum.

The current 5 game losing streak is the longest in the Big 3 era. Ugh.

Box score | Recap

Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

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  • Spaga

    Thats why I would trade rondo for Westbrook. He’s a beast. Everytime we play the thunder he abused rondo. Taking and making some big shots to win the game. He’s a Killa. This celtics team is not gonna win with rondo and the big 3. Danny Needs to make trade now, before thing gets worst here. Rondo should be the fisrt to go. I would take deron Williams or Westbrook any day over rondo.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mdsample greenbeand

    did you miss quarters 1-3? the thunder toyed with the celtics and had this game in hand. luckily james harden was kept silent.
    keep rondo and pierce, dump the rest

  • http://profile.typepad.com/andreas24x7 Andreas24x7

    unfortunately the love affair with rondo doesnt extend too far out of new England..no one wants him..Danny tried to move him.im sure he offered NOLA everything and the kitchen sink and they didnt bite..would rather have Eirc Gordon
    when i watch the celtics i see a bunch of older vets trying everything they can to get things going and i see a young in shape pg not playing hard and missing lay ups, air balling an elbow jumper (wiiiide open no less) and making key turn overs at critical times multiple times this season to cost them the game or end a run..im hanging the last 3 losses all on rondo..getting badly out played by Rose (injured, Collison and tonight Westbook).
    unfortunately there is no trading rondo..only hope is he decides to play better.

  • paul

    Right now, Westbrook is a better player, but he also has a team that regards him as the second option. Rondo’s team still sees him as the kid brother who wets his pants regularly.

  • paul

    Don’t you get it that Pierce and Rondo are the problem? We have two players who both want to be king of the hill. The older one refuses to give way to the younger one. That’s what is going wrong.

  • paul

    Yeah, I think you are totally missing the point, like nearly every Celtic fan. You just don’t see it, do you? Rondo is by far the best player on this team, and his play has been masking the aging of the Big Three for years now. But even though he is the best player, the team continues to quash him, continues to force him into a slow it down, stand around game, where the whole system is designed to serve up opportunities for Pierce, KG and Allen. This has made less and less sense over the years. At this point in time, it’s utterly crazy. They continue to take Rondo out of his game in order to force him to try to serve the Big Three. As a result, Rondo’s focus drifts and his performance gets weaker and weaker. The situation is a travesty. Rondo is being ruined, and the team is getting nowhere.
    Rondo is one of the best in the league at attacking and breaking down and offense. The Celtics need to rebuild their offense to make the most of Rondo’s abilities, featuring him and playing off him. What they are trying to do instead is stick to an offense that was designed to spread the ball amongst the Big Three in their late prime. They are not in their prime anymore. They are past it. So what we have is an offense that is neither effective for the Big Three, nor does it maximize Rondo.
    Westbrook by contrast, plays for a system that gets the most out of his abilities.
    Rondo isn’t the problem here. The problem is that Rivers and the Big Three are stuck in their ways and unwilling to change.

  • vik melb aus

    Melb Aus Vik,
    I dont care what people say tonight was encouring as hell, you could see them dive for the boards start the qaurter better and when they needed offence pierce was able to help. Even Jo played well not over his capabalities but he played the way he could almost most nights. Also piterus is looking better and better with each game, man he has good d plus he can hit that big 3. Even fall our struggles defencivley we are holding teams. Our turnovers will become less with more games played equaling more chemistry and game shape.. This has truley been a testing for fans and playes but watching the game we arent that far off. All you non-beleivers have faith in doc, exp of our big 4, and the work ethic of our bench.. that line up with piterus and garnett with the big 4 looks good

  • http://profile.typepad.com/sothewind Lee in Oregon

    Same story different night. Too many second chance points for OKC, careless turnovers by the C’s, and the fact that Durant is just a beast.
    Whats with the diatrabs about Rondo and the Big 3? You act like noboby thinks Rondo’s the best player on the team. Everyone agrees it’s Rondo’s team. Yes, the Big 3 are old and past thier prime, but they’re still better than anyone else on the roster every night of the year. And by the way, the MADE this kis the player he is. No one’s ruining Rondo….he’s got free rein to drive and shoot anytime he wants, thats’s obvious. If he’s getting distracted (not my words) that’s his problem. Noboby’s holding Rondo or the C’s back, they’re winning the games they should win & losing the ones they play shitty in.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/licktheglassitol Classless

    Rondo needs athletes who can run with him. He’s running a one man fast break and that’s not his fault. Johnson is rotting on the bench. Maybe Pietrus can run. The starters sure as hell can’t.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/andreas24x7 Andreas24x7

    I wrote a long reply but deleted it because facts and logic and stats clearly are lost with you. Stop replying to my posts. You have no idea what you’re talking about. At all. Enjoy watching rondo air ball elbow jumpers, miss lay ups, regress in free throw percentage, take nights off and get smoked by collision and make poor decisions + bad passes resulting in critical turnovers that nullify runs

  • http://profile.typepad.com/andreas24x7 Andreas24x7

    Agree. Lots of fake fans here. The kind that signed on in07-08. They can go back to bandwagon riding with the bruins

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157053529f970b zippittyay

    Actually a very encouraging game. Several uncharacteristic turnovers and Westbrook hitting 3s at the end cost us the victory.
    The Celtics were moving the ball well, hitting the glass much better and playing good defense. Paul Pierce looked like himself again.
    Not mentioned anywhere is how much the lockout took out of both KG and PP. Both were intimately involved in all the negotiations instead of getting in to the shape they should have been to start the season they probably thought wasn’t going to happen. I predict both will start playing much better in the upcoming weeks

  • Jerry Sondler

    Like Westbrook did….can anyone even imagine the great Rondo knocking down clutch 3`s at crunch time?
    Nobody? I didn`t think so!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/kwapt KWAPT

    EXACTLY. We need a strong finisher-and will probably have to trade KG or Ray (with one of the youngsters) to get him.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/kwapt KWAPT

    I love Rondo, but he has no one to get out on the break with. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired of watching him have to stop and dribble the shot-clock down to 5 because no-one can keep up with him. That, and his And-One mixtape wannabe passes that always come JUST at the wrong time. We had a chance to go up on OKC-especially in quarters 1 and 2 when Durant couldn’t hit the side of a barn.

  • totheruins

    Westbrook always makes a point to play well against Rondo…and does a damn good job at it… rondo might actually be a better fir with the thunder though honestly and now we need more of a player like westbrook because of how absolutely, pathetic and inept the “big 3″ are
    How about we make this more of a…oh gee i would rather have kevin durant then KG thing? something that came closer to happening..thanks

  • totheruins

    thats been going on for 4 years…Pierce is out of shape and has no argument to be king of the hill anymore…and honestly i dont see that attitude from rondo….I see everyone knowing him running the team as the best thing and pauls fat ego not always letting it happen

  • totheruins

    Youre an abysmal moron and have no concept of whats going on or why danny tried to trade rondo…maybe its because hes the only player on our team with value? or that Jeff Green our only other young player with value couldnt pass a physical to be included in any trade?
    Youre also a blind tool….we have no center…the big 3 are old and out of shape, specifically Pierce and KG who look dreadful and have been getting abused by their man on the boards and all around the court..Paul pierce missed a wide open dunk a few games ago and couldnt defend Luol deng to save his life…KG just is soft, cant rebound, a false intimidator and just flat out old or has mailed it in….pull your head out of your ass you “big 3″ homer