OKC Thunder Notepad: Celtic loss first narrow defeat in more than eight weeks


AP Photo/Kyle Phillips

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder guard (17) takes a foul from Boston Celtics guard Romeo Langford in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder postgame locker room was subdued and quiet Sunday, as though something had happened that hardly ever happens, perhaps because it had.

The Thunder lost their first game after winning four straight and their second in just 10 outings, yet more than that, they lost a game decided by two or fewer possessions.

Sunday was Oklahoma City’s 53rd game of the season and it’s 26th to be decided by six or fewer points in overtime or both, 49.1 percent of the Thunder’s games.

Their record in those games is now 18-8. Yet, at one time, their record in such games was 2-7.

In two-possession or overtime games, the Thunder had won 16 of 17 and 12 straight prior to the Celtics 112-111 victory.

• Not very smart: Former Oklahoma State Cowboy Marcus Smart, who made the defensive play of the game, snaring the ball from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 5.8 seconds remaining, might have gone down as the game’s goat had Boston lost by one point.

The first player of the Celtic bench, Smart played nine first-half minutes, missed his only shot and didn’t score and, as halftime struck, sought a discussion with the officials.

He got one and, as two Celtic reps tried to guide him off the court, he eventually was hit with a technical foul. It occurred with 14:37 showing on the clock, the halftime clock, which began ticking down from 15:00 a short time after the second quarter concluded.

• Bazley comes up lame: Thunder rookie Darius Bazley scored his only basket on a drive with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but came down awkwardly, limping badly. He somehow played through an additional 35 seconds before coming out of the game. He did not return.

During his postgame media session, Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said he’s not been updated on Bazley’s condition.

• Tip-ins: With 5 minutes to play in the first quarter, former OKC center Enes Kanter entered for the Celtics to a big ovation from the fans … Oklahoma City outscored Boston 25-12 the final 7:29 of the second quarter … Lu Dort started, but played just 11:43. Since being activated 11 games previously against Portland on Jan. 18, his lowest minute total had been 16:09. Terrance Ferguson played 26:18 and attempted one shot (a 3-point miss), three fewer than Dort … Oklahoma City only turned the ball over just 10 times, yet Boston scored 21 points off them. The Thunder turned nine Celtic turnovers into seven points … The final shot of the first half was a 42-foot 3-point attempt from OKC center Steven Adams. An actual jump shot rather than a heave, it appeared on target, but about three feet short.

• Next: The San Antonio Spurs visit Chesapeake Energy Arena at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It will be the back end of a back-to-back for the Spurs, who are at Denver for an 8 p.m. tip this evening. Saturday, San Antonio fell 122-102 at Sacramento.

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