Oklahoma City Thunder vs Boston Celtics: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/20/18
Russell Westbrook looks to post his sixth consecutive triple-double Tuesday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder face the Boston Celtics.
While not on the pace from last season’s NBA-record 42 triple-doubles, Westbrook is up to 23 this term as he leads Oklahoma City’s bid to stay in the top half of the Western Conference. Westbrook has averaged 24.6 points, 11.6 assists and 11.4 rebounds during his current five-game run of triple-doubles after totaling 37 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds in Sunday’s 133-125 victory at Toronto.
Steven Adams added 25 points and Paul George added 22 as the Thunder (43-29) have won six straight to stay within shouting distance of the rampaging Portland Trail Blazers for the Northwest Division title and third in the West. Oklahoma City shot 55.7 percent, their third-highest mark of the season, and they have averaged 116.2 points during this winning streak while shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc and 49.2 percent overall.
Boston (47-23) continue to struggle while being short-handed, losing three of their last four after a 108-89 loss at New Orleans on Sunday that was also their second defeat in three games without starting point guard Kyrie Irving. The All-Star, along with backcourt partner Jaylen Brown, will not play in this game as Irving rests his knee and Brown continues to go through the league’s concussion protocol.
Rookie Jayson Tatum, who has moved to the shooting guard slot from small forward since Brown has been sidelined, had 23 points. Marcus Morris added 17, but the Celtics broke down defensively along the interior as the Pelicans outscored them 54-36.
Boston have all but conceded the Atlantic Division and top seed in the Eastern Conference to Toronto, who lead the Celtics by five games with 12 to play. The Celtics do, however, have a comfortable 6.5-game lead over Cleveland for the second seed.