NBA Hoops

Peak Celtics basketball is complete domination: ‘We want to feel invincible’

Peak Celtics basketball is complete domination: ‘We want to feel invincible’

The Boston Celtics went into their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night on a mission. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams were out, but that didn’t take away from Boston’s goal—securing the best record in the NBA.

“Talked about before the game,” Joe Mazzulla said during his post-game press conference. “Trying to treat this game as like the clincher. To kind of put that on ourselves to be able to do that. I think it was important for us to simulate that.”

As the season drags on and the games lose meaning, Boston is trying to find meaning.

“We have to find, for each of these games as we’re heading towards like the end of the season, some sort of motivation,” said Kristaps Porzingis. “And tonight, it was like, ‘Okay, if we win this game, we can achieve something.’ Joe just kind of poked us a little bit and got us going for the game, knowing that that we can clinch it, and we went out there and took care of business.”

The first quarter saw the Celtics get out to a slow start. Both teams were knotted at 19 apiece before Boston made its first run of the night, exploding to end the frame on an 11-4 run.

Boston extended their lead to 14 by halftime, but the third quarter was when the Thunder fought back. A blistering hot 10-of-17 shooting frame accompanied by 13 free throws led to a 36-point third. At one point, the Thunder had cut the lead down to just five points.

That’s when the Celtics had seen enough.

“We are extremely talented,” said Jaylen Brown. “I think we’re well-coached as well. So, you put those things together, you’re destined to have some really good games. They had some players out. We try not to take our foot off the gas. We were able to pull away towards the end.”

Brown’s 15-point fourth quarter led the way as he brushed off an otherwise ugly night to help the Celtics surge forward. They outscored the Thunder 42-17 in the fourth, earning a 35-point victory by night’s end.

The Celtics’ losses have been few and far between this year, but that makes them sting even more when they come around. And blowing a 30-point lead to the Hawks left a poor taste in the mouths of fans. But Boston has been remarkably good at bending without breaking this season.

Opposing teams put up a fight, go on a run, and the Celtics are almost always right there to squash it.

“Just understanding the ebbs and flows of a game,” Mazzulla said of his team’s ability to balloon leads….

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CelticsBlog – All Posts…