Coming off an emotional 22-point victory over the rival Lakers a night earlier, the Celtics didn’t have any letdown, charging to a double-digit lead midway into the second quarter.
“We knew it was a big game last night,” Boston coach Ime Udoka said. “But it didn't matter if we came out with a dud game.”
Tatum had 37 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Los Angeles on Friday.
Boston pushed a 13-point halftime lead to 68-48 on Horford’s three-point play. The Thunder made a brief spurt with consecutive 3s by Giddey before the Celtics went on a 13-2 run.
They led by 16 with 6 ½ minutes left in the game before the Thunder sliced it under double digits on Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s follow shot with just under 4 minutes left.
“I feel like this shows if we start well and our on terms, it can lead to a full 48 minutes,” Robinson-Earl said. “I thought tonight we just got off to a slow start.”
But Oklahoma City never made a serious threat after Earl's basket, though they did get it down to four points with 10.6 seconds to play.
“We just have to keep that intensity up throughout the entire game,” Williams said about a potential ‘’trap game."
“Tonight, I think it was just us focusing and keying on what we were doing well,” he said.
Boston held a 58-45 halftime advantage behind 16 points from Tatum and 13 by Schroder.
“I think we're starting to understand the level that we have to play night in and night out,” Horford said.
Thunder: They made more 3-pointers (5) than 2s (4) nearly 17 minutes into the game and didn’t make a field goal from inside the arc until midway into the first quarter.
Tatum was riding an exercise bike away from the bench near the stands after he came out of the game in the second quarter, when a little boy came over and the star gave him a fist-pump.
Tatum bounced a cross-court pass to Grant Williams from the edge of the paint to the opposite corner, with the ball going through the legs of Darius Bazley as he bent down to try and grab it.
Thunder: At Atlanta on Monday night.
Celtics: Host Houston on Monday night.
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