Celtics get Smart to silence Thunder in Oklahoma City
(The Sports Xchange) - Marcus Smart scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 100-85 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday.
Taking on the challenge of going toe-to-toe with Russell Westbrook, Smart shot 9-for-14 from the field and hauled in eight rebounds as the intense guards battled for four quarters.
"That's the type of guy that Russ is," Smart told reporters. "He loves challenges. He is going to try to do his best every time. And vice versa with me. You put two guys like that going against each other, obviously you're going to knock heads."
Boston guard Avery Bradley contributed well off the bench as the visiting reserves torched Oklahoma City in the fourth quarter, the Celtics (5-4) building an 11-point advantage and controlling the game midway through the period.
Oklahoma City brought its starters back in but they lacked the energy to contend with the scrappy Boston squad. They were beaten to loose balls and rebounds and were just out-hustled as the Thunder never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Westbrook had a game-high 27 points on 5-of-20 shooting. He shot 2-for-10 from behind the three-point arc but was 15-for-17 from the free-throw line.
Forward Serge Ibaka was the only other Thunder player to score in double figures, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Center Enes Kanter was held to eight points and two rebounds.
"I got no answers for that," Kanter said of his team's offensive performance as the Thunder dropped to 6-4 overall, 1-1 without injured forward Kevin Durant.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points to go along with eight assists. Center Jared Sullinger owned the glass, as he pulled down 15 boards. As a team, the Celtics out-rebounded the Thunder 47-34. Continued...