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Fast Break: Kevin Durant-less Thunder strike down Celtics
Posted By Ben Rohrbach On January 24, 2014 @ 9:45 pm In General | 7 Comments
While Carmelo Anthony was scoring 56 points through three quarters at Madison Square Garden, the Celtics  netted just 59 through 36 minutes in Boston, and the Kevin Durant -less, Russell Westbrook -less Thunder swept the parquet with them, 101-83, handing the C’s their 16th loss in 19 tries.
Only Jeff Green  (16 points on 17 shots), Gerald Wallace  (13 points) and Brandon Bass  (11 points) reached double figures for the Celtics  (15-30). Rajon Rondo  had five points, eight assists and two rebounds in his fourth game back — and first since resting on Wednesday.
WHAT WENT WRONG
No slim reaper: After setting the NBA world on fire over the past month, Durant rested against the Celtics . The Thunder surprised the media  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  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  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  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.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Sharing is caring: With the unselfish duo of Rondo and Phil Pressey manning the point, the Celtics  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 .
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 Celtics: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm
 Kevin Durant: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/kevin-durant.htm
 Russell Westbrook: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/russell-westbrook.htm
 Jeff Green: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/jeff-green.htm
 Gerald Wallace: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/gerald-wallace.htm
 Brandon Bass: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/brandon-bass.htm
 Rajon Rondo: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/rajon-rondo.htm
 surprised the media: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2014/01/24/kevin-durant-shoulder-to-miss-oklahoma-city-thunder-game-against-celtics/
 Brad Stevens: http://audio.weei.com/ncaa/coach-brad-stevens.htm
 the first-semester report card: http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/ben-rohrbach/2014/01/24/2013-14-report-card-celtics-midseason-grade
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