Thunder (20-41, 11-20 road) at Celtics (32-29, 19-11 home)
- Time: 4 PST – 6 CST – 7 EST
- Place: TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
- TV: Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBC Sports Boston, NBA League Pass
This is a most daunting task for the Oklahoma City Thunder as they are on the second night of a back to back after being destroyed, 121-90, at Philadelphia last night. OKC has now lost 13 in a row and 16 out of 17 as the rigors of the NBA with such a youthful roster have set in.
The Thunder check in at 5-9 on the second game of the back to back scenario as the matchup with the Celtics is the sixth road game in the last seven.
Boston has lost three out of it’s last four after going on a six-game winning streak and making a move into the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Celtics are currently sixth in the East, but 0.5 games ahead of the charging Miami Heat.
The Celtics took a 111-94 win over OKC on March 27 as they outscored the Thunder 35-14 in the fourth quarter. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 27 points and Jaylen Brown added 25.
- Thunder – Tony Bradley – (ankle) – Gabriel Deck – (not with team) – Lugentz Dort – (hip) – Shae Gilgeous-Alexander – (foot), Josh Hall – (knee) – Mike Muscala – (Achilles) – OUT
- Celtics – Jayson Tatum – (ankle) – Kemba Walker – (side) – OUT
Vs. The Spread:
Thunder (27-33-1, ATS)
- OKC is 3-11 ATS in it’s last 14 games
- The UNDER has been the call in 6 of the Thunder’s last 9 outings
- The Thunder is 1-6 SU in it’s last 7 vs. the Celtics
Celtics (30-31, ATS)
- The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the Celtics’ last 16 games
- The UNDER has been the call in 5 of Boston’s last 7 games
- The UNDER has also been the play in 11 of the C’s last 13 home games
Last Time Out:
Russell Westbrook’s return back home to OKC netted yet another triple-double as he scored 37 points with 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Wizards rolled to a 129-109 win over the Thunder. Darius Bazley and Theo Maledon had 20 apiece to lead the Thunder, who dropped their 13th in a row.
Charlotte controlled Boston from the outset on Sunday in ripping the Celtics, 125-104, in Spectrum Center. Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown led the C’s with 20 points each while Tatum scored 19 points and grabbed 11 boards. The Hornets jumped to a 26-12 lead early in the first quarter and never looked back as Boston couldn’t control their three-point game.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+11½ (-110)||+575||215 (-110)|
|Boston Celtics||-11½ (-110)||-775||215 (-110)|
*Odds Courtesy of BetUS Sportsbook
With Lugentz Dort ailing and the Thunder clearly outmanned at several positions – even with Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker out with injuries – the Thunder are going to need an off night from several Celtics to capture a win. OKC doesn’t score at a high enough clip to begin with and when you lose the overall skill of a Lugentz Dort, (14.0 ppg) it makes the equation even tougher. He and Darius Bazley (13.2 rpg) are the top two scorers as of now, but they only shoot around 40 percent each from the field. Boston allows only 46.3 percent from the floor (11th/NBA). Dort had averaged 26 points and six boards in his last five games before being sidelined last night.
Key Thunder Stat:
Defense will give the Thunder it’s best opportunity as OKC has contested the second most shots in the NBA at 60 and has only allowed 11.2 fast break points (4th/NBA). Boston scores 11.8 off the break (18th/NBA).
Argentine forward Gabriel Deck has arrived in Oklahoma City and may be nearing his debut with only 11 games remaining in the season. Deck signed a four-year deal with OKC last week as his ability to come to the country and joined the NBA was sidelined due to his contract with Real Madrid plus the issues with COVID-19. Coach Mark Daigneault is looking to insert Deck into his rotation once he is cleared and can play.
With Tatum and Walker sidelined, Jaylen Brown will be the No. 1 option in the Celtics’ offense although he had missed three of four games prior to Sunday’s loss in Charlotte. Brown returned with a 22-point effort on Sunday as his offensive game has been at a high level in the last three games he has played as he has averaged 20.7 points and 7.3 boards in his last three games. The aggressiveness of Marcus Smart (13.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.5 apg) on both ends of the floor will be a tough assignment for the youthful Thunder.
Key Celtics Stat:
The Celtics’ defense is also good at limiting the opponents from getting looks. So far this season, Boston’s opponents have taken 86 field goal per game (6th/NBA). If Dort is absent again, Bazley (12.1 FGAs) will be a likely candidate to find more shots as will Ty Jerome and Théo Maledon off the bench.
The paint still is a concern with Robert Williams still struggling with injuries and such a lack of scoring from Tristan Thompson, who is playing major minutes in the rotation, but not converting opportunities. Thompson is averaging 7.3 points over his last three games and has made only 8-of-18 field goals. Williams plays with more enthusiasm and energy which will be needed with Tatum and Walker out of the lineup.
Winner: Celtics (-11.5) 115, Thunder 98