First 0-4 Start in Thunder History After Loss to Celtics

Game #4 - Celtics - Recap Stats

The Boston Celtics came to Chesapeake arena Thursday night for the Thunder’s second home game of the season. The Thunder were looking to avoid their first 0-4 start ever. After starting 0-10 from deep in the first half, Boston dominated the 3rd quarter shooting 7-10 from three and going on a 15-2 run. OKC had a 7 point lead with 5 minutes left in the fourth, but could not hold off a late run from the Celtics. The Thunder drop to 0-4 on the season in one of the most frustrating games you will see all season. 

Rapid Recap

The Celtics may not have a worse start to a game the rest of the season. They scored just 16 points in the first quarter leading the Thunder to remain control the entire first quarter behind Westbrook’s wizardly passes, connecting with Adams on several occasions. With 3:36 left in the first the Thunder had a commanding 19-8 lead with momentum.

The second quarter looked no different for Boston, finishing 0-10 from three, with no offense from nearly anyone only scoring 34 in the half. Jerami Grant showed why he deserved to be in the starting five with his two-way impact down low with 7pts and 4rbs. Paul George and Westbrook both found themselves in foul trouble early, leaving the half with three fouls each. A poor offensive showing from Boston gave the Thunder a 50-34 lead at the half. 

The Thunder’s momentum going into the half was lost as the Celtics didn’t take long to erase the 16 point deficit. OKC basically lost the game in the 3rd quarter with their constant struggles at the free throw line along with their inability to defend the three-point parade from Boston, who shot 7-9 from three and went on a 15-2 run in the quarter. OKC’s inability to remain offensively sustainable lead the Celtics a one point lead going into the fourth. 

Alex Abrines hit a shot with 5:15 left in the game to give OKC a 92-85 lead that got the crowd roaring. The inconsistencies from OKC’s offense in crunch time came to haunt them. Marcus Morris hit a three pointer with 28 seconds left that gave Boston a three-point lead that felt like the dagger in this game. Paul George finished with 22 points, but couldn’t hit the tying three with 16 seconds left. A rebound by Westbrook gave OKC another chance to send it to OT, but was no good. Russell finished shooting 5-20 from the field. This will be one of the most difficult losses Billy Donovan may have this season, as the Celtics steal one 101-95. OKC’s 0-4 start marks the first since 2008.

Thunder Player of the Game

It was tough to find a player of the game for this one, since it was such a sloppy second half that resulted in a brutal loss. One positive to take away from this game was Jerami Grants performance in his first start of the season. He finished the game with 10 points (4-10 FG) with a deep three and a strong and one finish under the rim. His dominant presence down low will certainly serve as a plus for OKC’s offense, expect to see him in the starting rotation for often. 

3 Quick Thoughts

  • The Offense Has to Stay Potent for Entire Game

The Thunder did not have enough shooters on the floor against Boston on Thursday night, and will have a tough time remaining afloat in this stacked Western conference. They have been finding creative ways to get to the basket, but the absence of outside shooting in their offense will result in finishes similar to the game against Boston. 

  • Post Defense is Getting Better

The addition of Jerami Grant in the starting lineup brings a young athletic feel to this roster. He matched up well against Marcus Morris and made several big defensive stops. His defense has impacted their transition offensive game by allowing them to create more shots.

  • OKC needs more from Ferguson

It’s tough to win when your two best scores shoot 5-20/7-22, but this is when key role players desperately need to step up and take over for the struggling stars. Ferguson only played 14 minutes and made the only basket he shot, making him 2-15 on the season from the field.

Next Game 

The Thunder will try again to get their first win against the Phoenix Suns this Sunday at home. Tip-off will be at 6:00 PM CST. The game will be televised on FSOK an on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM. 

If the Thunder can’t figure things out on Sunday to capture their first win, shall we expect any front office or on the court decisions? Tune in to find out! 

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