Boston Celtics secure home-court advantage in playoffs with a 135-100 victory against Oklahoma City Thunder

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Boston vs Oklahoma City Thunders (Credits: Yard Breaker)

Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault compared the Celtics’ performance this season to a high-performance sports car. Boston’s latest win over the Thunder earned them yet another perk as the playoffs approach.

Kristaps Porziņģis scored 27 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked five shots, leading the Celtics to a commanding 135-100 victory over the Thunder on Wednesday night, securing the top spot in the NBA standings and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Jayson Tatum contributed 24 points, while Jaylen Brown added 23 points and seven rebounds for Boston, which extended its winning streak at home to 11 games and improved to a record of 60-16 for the season.

“We’ve earned it. I believe it could be crucial if we stick to our goals,” Porzingis said. Brown appreciates the progress the team has made as the regular season nears its end. “We’re not skipping steps,” Brown said. “With 60 wins, I think we’re on the right path. When the playoffs start, it’s like starting over.”

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said achieving this milestone is another accomplishment that his team should appreciate, but he doesn’t want them to dwell on it. “It’s very difficult to achieve. We might never get this chance again,” Mazzulla said. “We discussed it as a team. We talked about it before the game, treating this game as the clincher. It was important for us to simulate that. … We should enjoy it tonight, and when we wake up tomorrow — nobody cares.”

Boston vs Oklahoma City Thunders (Credits: NBC Sports)

Brown was uncertain before the game due to a sprained left hand. He said he got it checked after Boston’s victory in Charlotte on Monday and described it as a sprained ligament.

“I think it’s okay. It’s not something I’m worried about moving forward,” he said. “But it was bothering me a bit tonight.” The Celtics trailed for only 62 seconds in the game.

Boston led by as many as 16 points in the first half before Oklahoma City narrowed the gap to six points in the third quarter. Holding a 10-point lead after three quarters, the Celtics started the fourth with a 12-4 run to extend their lead to 105-87.

Josh Giddey led Oklahoma City with 17 points, while Luguentz Dort added 15 points. The Thunder committed 14 turnovers and made only 5 of 24 attempts from beyond the arc.

OKC played without All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, their leading scorer, who missed his fourth game in five outings due to a bruised right quadriceps. Jalen Williams also sat out for the second straight game with a sprained left ankle.

Daigneault mentioned before the game that Porzingis has been a challenge for the Celtics this season because he can both protect the rim and shoot from outside, despite having a roster full of shooters. The 7-footer showcased both skills in the first half, contributing 17 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in just 15 minutes.

Porzingis also capped off one of the Celtics’ best offensive sequences. Payton Pritchard drove into the paint, got stuck under the basket, and passed the ball out to Sam Hauser in the corner. Hauser quickly swung it to Brown as he crossed half-court. Brown then made a no-look, behind-the-head pass to Porzingis on the wing for his third 3-pointer of the game.

This basket gave Boston a 50-34 lead, its largest of the half. The Celtics went into halftime with a 61-47 lead, marking the 50th time this season they’ve scored 60 or more points in the first half, tying the franchise record set last season.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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