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Welcome to the Garden for Thunder-Celtics

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 23, 2012 05:38 PM

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Good evening from the Garden and tonight's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. After Wednesday's 112-100 loss against the Spurs, the Celtics face another premier team from the Western Conference.

STARTING LINEUPS
BOSTON CELTICS (6-6)

PG Rajon Rondo
SG Jason Terry
SF Paul Pierce
PF Brandon Bass
C Kevin Garnett

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (9-3)
PG Russell Westbrook
SG Thabo Sefolosha
SF Kevin Durrant
PF Serge Ibaka
C Kendrick Perkins

Officials: Derrick Stafford, Eric Lewis, Derek Richardson

Game time: 7:30 p.m.

TV/Radio: Comcast Sportsnet / WEEI

Pregame notes:

• The Celtics have lost two straight while the Thunder has won three straight.

• Oklahoma City won both games last season, 97-88 at the Garden on Jan. 16 and 119-104 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

• A few statistical notes: The Celtics are 1-5 when they trail after three quarters and 0-5 when opponents score 100 points. ... Rondo has 10+ assists in 35 consecutive games. The NBA record of 46 is held by Magic Johnson. John Stockton is second at 37.

Back with more later on.

UPDATE, 6:55 p.m.: Here's some of what Doc Rivers was talking about before the game:

On Kendrick Perkins dropping some weight the last few years: "He's eating less. Or better foods. But, listen, he's a pro. Perk understands as long as you're in this game, you've got to do different things to be a better player. He's had a couple of knee injuries, I'll take some weight off. It's not going to change who he is. He's a a tough guy, even skinny. He's still going to be who he is. The scowl is still going to be there."

On Serge Ibaka: "He's just a good basketball player. He's a perfect complementary player for them. I'm always hesitant calling him a complementary player because that's not good enough when you talk about Ibaka. He blocks shots; he rotates on defense; he makes the open shot, which stretches the defense. It's terrific."

On Russell Westbrook: "Westbrook's a great player, that's where I always leave it with him. [Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski] and I had a hilarious conversation about him. He said, 'How many 'How many 'oh-expletive' guys are there in the league? Westbrook is one of them. You see Westbrook and you're the guard on the other side, you're saying 'oh expletive' before the game starts. That's what Westbrook is. He's an athletic freak."

On the Celtics' play of late: Rivers said the Celtics spent more time watching film during their shoot-around today than shooting around. They're trying to get themselves fixed defensively.

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