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Fast Break: Kevin Durant-less Thunder strike down Celtics

While Carmelo Anthony was scoring 56 points through three quarters at Madison Square Garden, the Celtics [1] netted just 59 through 36 minutes in Boston, and the Kevin Durant [2]-less, Russell Westbrook [3]-less Thunder swept the parquet with them, 101-83, handing the C’s their 16th loss in 19 tries.

Only Jeff Green [4] (16 points on 17 shots), Gerald Wallace [5] (13 points) and Brandon Bass [6] (11 points) reached double figures for the Celtics [1] (15-30). Rajon Rondo [7] had five points, eight assists and two rebounds in his fourth game back — and first since resting on Wednesday.


No slim reaper: After setting the NBA world on fire over the past month, Durant rested against the Celtics [1]. The Thunder surprised the media [8] with news of Durant’s apparent shoulder injury before the game. It was his first DNP of the season and only trip to Boston in 2013-14 — an unfortunate revelation a couple hours before tipoff for Celtics [1] fans who paid to see one of the game’s most fascinating players face their lottery-bound home team.

Lambasted: With Durant sitting and Westbrook still nursing an injured knee, the Celtics [1] had a real chance to slow one the league’s top-five offenses, but Jeremy Lamb had different ideas. The UConn product scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting in 15 first-half minutes, leading Oklahoma City to a 50-46 advantage at the break.

Rondo’s reintroduction: As Brad Stevens [9] has noted, Rondo is still in preseason form. The spacing of his minutes-per-quarter prevent him from getting into a rhythm, and he’s not finishing around the rim for whatever reason (confidence, legs, confidence in his legs). After scoring a single point and missing all eight shots against the Heat and resting against the Wizards, Rondo finished with five points on seven shots.


Sharing is caring: With the unselfish duo of Rondo and Phil Pressey manning the point, the Celtics [1] actually ran an offense, resulting in 10 assists on 11 buckets and a 73.3 field goal percentage in the first quarter. That trend tapered off a bit while 17 turnovers and the Thunder’s 53.8 percent shooting didn’t help matters.

Crashus Clay: In two home games since Rondo’s return, Wallace has shown signs of life, scoring in the double digits and filling up the stat sheet. After posting a 14-4-5 with three steals and two blocks against the Lakers a week ago, he totaled three assists, two rebounds and three steals against the Thunder. Now, if he could only contribute on a more consistent basis, he might raise his grade from the first-semester report card [10].