|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
Kevin Durant continued his “Durant for MVP” tour across the NBA, delivering a powerful performance in leading his Thunder to their first win against the Celtics since moving to Oklahoma City, 109-104. The Thunder have now beat every team in the NBA since bolting Seattle two years ago.
Durant, who scored 37 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and was a perfect 15-for-15 from the free throw line, hit a big three-pointer late in the game to help hold off a late Celtics rally. Former Celtic-for-a-minute Jeff Green added 17 points and also hit a late three to keep the Celts at bay.
Rajon Rondo did all he could to keep the Celtics in it, putting forth a nice little 15-10-5-5 effort. Rondo scored 16 points, and added 11 assists, five reboudns, and five steals, but it was not enough in the end.
You may have noticed the eye-popping 15 free throws attempted by Durant IN Boston, which is a high number for a player on the road (even a player of Durant’s caliber). While high, it’s not a shocking total…like 30 free throws or something. Kevin Garnett disagrees:
“I thought we were playing Michael (expletive) Jordan the way he was getting the whistle,” Garnett (18 points, 9 rebounds) said. “Durant damn near shot more free throws than our whole team.”
The Celtics were just 13/17 from the line as a team. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Ray Allen, who was sort of facing his former team (he used to play for the SEATTLE Supersonics), scored 13 points on 6-12 shooting. Allen was traded along with Glen Davis for Jeff Green, Wally Sczcerbiak, and Delonte West back in 2007 in a draft night trade. The deal preluded the Kevin Garnett acquisition, of course.
Davis, who was a Sonic for a minute, finished with 10 points in 17 minutes off the bench.
The Celtics next play the Rockets on Friday.