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Rough 4th Quarter Loses Game for Celtics in Oklahoma City

Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics goes to the basket during the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Boston Celtics on March 10, 2013 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

It wasn’t always pretty, but Boston managed to stay close enough for much of their game in Oklahoma City. However, the Thunder finally stifled the Celtics in the 4th quarter and pulled ahead for the 91-79 victory. The back-and-forth started early, with Boston taking an 8-4 lead (their biggest of the day) 2:40 in. However, OKC then scored 10 straight point, holding Boston scoreless for 3:23. With the series of rebounds and turnovers that followed, neither side could gain an edge. The chess match continued; OKC maintained their lead, but Boston kept them from pulling away, cutting the Thunder’s lead to 23-22 at the end of the 1st quarter.

The 2nd quarter began in much the same way, with the teams trading buckets to maintain a stalemate. It didn’t last two long, with a 2:51 scoreless stretch for the Celtics allowing the Thunder to score 10 straight points once again, allowing OKC to go up by 11. Boston then started eking their way back, but the Thunder kept pushing back just as much. This kept up until the final few minutes in the half, which saw the Thunder rebuild their lead to 11. A quick flurry by the Celtics pushed OKC’s lead down to five, and as the Thunder didn’t get a field goal in the last 3:13 of the half, only took a 50-45 lead into the break.

The Thunder lead was stable for much of the 3rd quarter, fluctuating between three and six points until the Thunder took an eight-point lead with 4:29 left in the frame. However, much like in the 2nd quarter, OKC was held without a field goal in the final 3:53 of the quarter. After OKC hit one free throw with 3:11 remaining, Boston scored six straight before the buzzer sounded and took a mere three-point deficit, 68-65, into the final quarter.

In the final quarter, things went pretty downhill for Boston. They were held without a point for the first 2:27 of the quarter, and only scored their first field goal 4:09 into the quarter on a tip-in. The Thunder quickly used the opportunity to push their lead back to double digits. Boston struggled to get anything going offensively, negating their work of limiting Kevin Duran to two points in the final quarter. In the end, the Celtics fizzled away, and the Thunder walked away with the 12-point victory.

C’s Stud of the Game: Paul Pierce

Pierce led Boston in points (20) and assists (6). Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett performed admirably in terms of rebounding, but didn’t do terribly much else.

C’s Dud of the Game: 4th Quarter Effort

Boston only scored 14 points in the final frame, not the best showing team-wide the Celtics have had.

Game Notes:

  • Points Leaders: Kevin Durant (OKC 23), Paul Pierce (BOS 20), Russell Westbrook (OKC 15)
  • Field Goal Leaders: Paul Pierce (BOS 6/12), Kevin Durant (OKC 6/16), three others with five
  • Three-Point Leaders: Courtney Lee (BOS 2/4), Paul Pierce (BOS 2/5), Jason Terry (BOS 2/6)
  • Free Throw Leaders: Kevin Duran (OKC 11/11), Paul Pierce (BOS 6/7), three others with four
  • Rebound Leaders: Brandon Bass (BOS 13), Kevin Garnett (BOS 11), Kevin Durant (OKC 11)
  • Assist Leaders: Paul Pierce (BOS 6), Kendrick Perkins (OKC 5), Avery Bradley (BOS 5)
  • Steal Leaders: Thabo Sefolosha (OKC 3), Kevin Martin (OKC 2), Russell Westbrook (OKC 2)
  • Block Leaders: Serge Ibaka (OKC 2), Courtney Lee (BOS 2), Brandon Bass (BOS 2)
  • Foul-outs: none
  • Technical Fouls: Serge Ibaka (OKC 8:28 left in 3rd)
  • Turnovers: BOS 19, OKC 15

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