This was a case of a veteran team teaching a young team how to play. The Celtics had every excuse to let down Friday at Oklahoma City but they came out and scored 31 first-quarter points and never trailed again. It was an impressive effort against an OKC team that had some rest, younger legs and wants to prove to its home fans that they are capable of playing with upper-echelon teams.
That wasn’t the case Friday. The Celtics dominated every phase of the game and reduced the Thunder into a 1 1/2-man team: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The other nine Thunder players combined for 36 points while Durant and Westbrook scored 51. Jeff Green, whom the Celtics drafted and traded for Ray Allen, scored six points with two rebounds in 37 minutes. Defensive ace Thabo Sefolosha didn’t score in 32 minutes. while James Harden looked frustrated by Ray Allen’s defense.
It was an impressive defensive game for the Celtics and a nice way to end a long road trip.
Paul Pierce — He scored 21 points on just 11 shots, meaning he was getting to the line and hitting 3-pointers. And his defense on Durant in the second half was solid.
Kevin Garnett — He only played 25 minutes and scored 23 points. So Doc Rivers was able to preserve his legs and sit him 15 minutes in the second half.
Kendrick Perkins — Perk picked up technical No. 6 — and he had been so good lately — but he roughed up Nick Collison and Etan Thomas for a productive night.
Ray Allen — The shot is still not falling but he was above average defensively and made some key shots.
Rajon Rondo — Sparkling with 15 points, six assists, four steals and two rebounds in 31 minutes. And he is playing with extreme confidence.
Marquis Daniels — No points in 18 minutes but good defense in stretches. Sometimes Daniels is not going to make much of an offensive impact.
Rasheed Wallace — 10 points in 18 minutes with no technicals and a couple of 3-pointers, a satisfactory night for Sheed.
Shelden Williams — Coming back home, Williams picked up a couple of fouls but did get two steals.
Eddie House — Scored 11 points in 17 minutes with three 3-pointers. The shot is starting to fall for House.
Brian Scalabrine — One rebound and one assist in 15 minutes and didn’t attempt a shot. Not much to talk about here.