NBA Game Preview: Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder

Jan 3, 2023

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Game: Boston Celtics @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Odds: Celtics -9, Thunder +9

Total: 233.5

Coming off disappointing performances last time out, the Boston Celtics play the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in the Sooner state. On New Year’s Eve at home, Oklahoma City lost to Philadelphia 115–96 to complete the 2022 portion of its schedule. The Thunder made 12-of-36 three-point attempts and shot 38 percent from the field (35-of-92). Philadelphia outscored Oklahoma City 66-42 in the paint and never trailed. The Thunder were behind by 33 points at the end of the first half and never closed the gap below 14 points.

With its 123-111 loss at Denver on Sunday night, Boston’s four-game winning streak came to an end. For Boston, which trailed by double digits for the majority of the game, Jaylen Brown (30 points) and Jayson Tatum (25) accounted for the majority of the scoring. The Nuggets were able to shoot 57 percent from the field (45-for-79) and 56.7 percent from three-point range  (17-for-30) thanks to the Celtics’ defense, or lack thereof.

While Denver lit it up from three-point range, Boston struggled from beyond the arc. The Celtics hit just 9-of-33 from long range and shot 46 percent (40-of-87) for the game. Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla commented that “it was just one of those games” where the opponent shot so well there was nothing the Celtics’ defense could do.

In six of their last eight games, the Celtics have failed to shoot better than 35 percent from beyond the arc, and in five of those games, they have shot lower than 30 percent. Boston ranks No. 7 in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage. The Celtics are 10th in overall field goal percentage and No. 1 from the free throw line shooting 82.7 percent.

Oklahoma City had scored at least 100 points in 26 straight games before the loss to Philadelphia. Josh Giddey scored 20 points for the Thunder, who rank 10th in the NBA in scoring. OKC averages 115.2 points per game.  The loss to the Sixers was the Thunder’s third loss in its last four games. OKC is now 4-8 SU in its last 12 games. The Thunder is 7-3 ATS in its last ten games at home. They are 0-5 SU the last five times they have hosted the Celtics in Oklahoma City.

Boston is 4-1 SU in its last five games. The Celtics are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games against Oklahoma City. Boston is 1-6 ATS in the last seven against the Thunder. The Celtics continue to have the NBA’s highest-scoring offense. Boston averages 118.8 points per game. The Celtics O/U record for the season stands at 18-18-1.

The Under has hit in 10 of Boston’s last 12 games on the road. For Oklahoma City, the Under has cashed in nine of its last 13 games and in five straight against an Eastern Conference opponent. Interestingly, the Over is 4-1 in the Thunder’s last five games against the Celtics.

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