Morris’ 3-pointer lifts Celtics over Thunder
Published 1:01 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018
BOSTON (AP) — Marcus Morris made a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left and the Boston Celtics stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder, 100-99, on Tuesday night.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Morris added 21 points as Boston snapped the Thunder’s six-game win streak.
Russell Westbrook finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Oklahoma City, which fell apart in the closing minute.
Boston took an 82-81 lead in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Shane Larkin, who finished with 17 points off the bench.
The Thunder missed 15 of their first 21 3-point attempts before making four straight to go back in front 93-89.
Boston closed to 99-97 on a 3 by Terry Rozier, and quickly fouled Carmelo Anthony with 7.7 seconds remaining. Anthony missed both attempts and the Celtics gathered the rebound.
Out of the timeout, Tatum dribbled across the lane and found Morris on the wing for the go-ahead 3.
Westbrook was able to get off a long 3-pointer on the Thunder’s final possession, but it came up short at the buzzer.
With Kyrie Irving sitting out for the fourth straight game nursing a sore left knee and Jaylen Brown still in the concussion protocol, Tatum and Rozier continued to pick up the slack for Boston.
Both were active throughout. Rozier had probably the most electrifying stretch late in the second quarter when he scored eight straight points to give the Celtics their largest lead of the first half at 41-36.
The series included Rozier picking up an errant pass by Westbrook and then gliding in for a one-handed dunk over Steven Adams on the ensuing fast break . Rozier finished with 14 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Westbrook scored 12 points in the third quarter to give Oklahoma City a 75-65 cushion. But Boston closed the period with eight straight points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Larkin.
Thunder: Went 10 of 27 from the 3-point line. … Were outrebounded 52-44.
Celtics: Tatum has scored 15 or more points in four of his last five games. He had only one such game in his nine previous games.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Irving will not accompany the team on its four-game road trip, which begins Friday at Portland.
Instead, the All-Star point guard will be getting a second opinion on the knee, which has kept him sidelined since March 13.
“That knee has been really sore, but he’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season,” Stevens said. “He’s had some really good days recently. So I’m encouraged by it in the big picture.”
Brown did some light pregame shooting, though he remains in the NBA concussion protocol following his scary fall against the Timberwolves. Stevens said is to be determined whether he will go on the upcoming trip.
Thunder: Hosts Miami on Friday.
Celtics: At Portland on Friday.
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