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Five takeaways from the Thunder's 105-104 win at Boston

The Thunder beat the Celtics 105-104 Sunday, to sweep a three-game road trip back East.

In a dramatic finish, Thunder guard Dennis Schroder stole the ball from Celtics guard Kemba Walker and made a go-ahead layup with 8.5 seconds on the clock.

On the next possession, OKC All-Star Chris Paul forced a miss by Boston All-Star Jayson Tatum to secure the win.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

Filling in for SGA

For the first time this season, the Thunder was without point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right hip contusion) Sunday. Terrance Ferguson started in his place.

Ferguson began the season a starter. While Ferguson was out for eight games for personal reasons, rookie two-way contract player Luguentz Dort made his way into the starting lineup, and he held onto that position even after Ferguson returned. Sunday marked Ferguson’s first start since Jan. 17.

He recorded four points, two rebounds and a steal, and primarily guarded Tatum.

Stache Bros reunite

On Sunday afternoon, Celtics center Enes Kanter posted a picture of him guarding Steven Adams, with a simple caption: “Game Day,” followed by a clover emoji.

Adams responded with an emoji of his own, but his was less kid-friendly. Adams’s entire response was a hand holding up its middle finger.

In the last minute of the first half, the famously close former Thunder teammates finally stepped foot on the court at the same time.

Adams scored just six points but added six rebounds and three steals. Kanter recorded two rebounds and two assists off the bench.

3-point battle

The Celtics made 3-pointers on five consecutive possessions in the second quarter, extending their lead from five points to 18. Thunder guard Chris Paul finally broke up the streak with a steal.

Boston made more 3-pointers than the Thunder in the first half, going 10-of-24 from beyond the arc. But the Thunder (6-of-13) shot more efficiently from deep before the intermission. 

That efficiency worked to the Thunder’s advantage in the second half. OKC finished the game shooting 10-of-25 from 3-point range. The Celtics shot 13-of-37 from beyond the arc.

Paul and Schroder boost Thunder offense

Without Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder was missing its leading scorer. Paul (28 points) and Schroder (27) filled the void, especially in the third quarter. 

Paul had already scored 10 points in the first half, but in the third quarter he scored another 14 to lead all scorers heading into the final period. Schroder scored 11 in the first half, nine in the third quarter. 

OKC trailed by as many as 18 points in the second quarter. Fast forward to three and a half minutes into the third quarter, when Paul faked a kick-out pass to Danilo Gallinari on the right wing. But instead of making the pass, Paul made a floater from the free throw line, cutting the Celtics lead to five points.

To end the period, Chris Paul threw a pass along the perimeter to Schroder. Schroder made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut the Celtics’ lead to one point.

Nader sets career high

Thunder forward Abdel Nader stayed with Celtics guard Marcus Smart as he drove the lane. Smart pulled up for a floater, but Nader reached out and swatted the ball out of his hands. 

It was Nader’s fourth block of the game, setting a career high. Nader also blocked Semi Ojeleye, Kemba Walker and Robert Williams III.

Related Photos
Mar 8, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA;  Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) is fouled by Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 8, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) is fouled by Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1dc11e73b13b502a1d6c08f470d18b1e.jpg" alt="Photo - Mar 8, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) is fouled by Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports" title="Mar 8, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) is fouled by Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports"><figcaption>Mar 8, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) is fouled by Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1e110d5fa5fb448a35e8e8ceef986e38.jpg" alt="Photo - Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum drives for the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder's Danilo Gallinari (8) and Terrance Ferguson (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March, 8, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)" title="Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum drives for the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder's Danilo Gallinari (8) and Terrance Ferguson (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March, 8, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)"><figcaption>Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum drives for the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder's Danilo Gallinari (8) and Terrance Ferguson (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March, 8, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)</figcaption></figure>
Maddie Lee

Maddie Lee followed an NBA team from Seattle to Oklahoma City, she just took a 10-year detour in between. Lee joined the Oklahoman in October 2018 as a Thunder beat writer, fresh off a stint in Oxford, Miss., where she covered Ole Miss for the... Read more ›

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