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This was the Celtics team we were promised in the preseason. Paul Pierce scored 27, and Jeff Green added 17 from the bench as the Celtics overcame the Thunder and 29 points from Kevin Durant, 108-100.
The Celtics’ bench outscored the Thunder’s bench, 35-13. Rajon Rondo dished out 16 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds. Kevin Garnett had 18 points, 8 rebounds and went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Russell Westbrook demonstrated why the Celtics miss Avery Bradley and went off for 26 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. The Celtics shut down Kevin Martin, who had been averaging 18 points off the Tunder bench, allowing him to shoot just 1-for-7 from the field for three points.
Jason Terry hit a three to give the Celtics a 48-45 lead going into the half. The Celtics led by 12 at the end of the third period, but the Thunder would cut the lead to just three with two minutes to play.
The Celtics went back to Terry up just five with a minute to play, and the JET delivered with a game icing three. Terry finished with 16 points on just eight shots.
Pierce and Green combined for 19 of the Celtics 29 third quarter points. Because Green missed all of last season, this was the first time he faced his old team as a member of the Celtics.
Pierce shot 6-of-9 in the second half for 22 of his 27 points. Pierce made all seven of this free throw attempts and got in the passing lanes to record three steals.
Old friend, Kendrick Perkins, returned to his usual standing ovation at the Garden. He recorded 5 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
The Celtics now head to Orlando to face Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis and the Magic on Sunday.