Oklahoma City at Boston
Where: TD Garden, Boston
BOSTON – The Oklahoma City Thunder welcomed the challenge of facing the top two teams in the Eastern Conference in back-to-back games and already knocked off one with a 132-125 win at the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. The Thunder will try to make it a 2-0 trip and run their overall winning streak to seven in a row when they visit the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
Reigning MVP Russell Westbrook notched his fifth straight triple-double with 37 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds on Sunday and scored 17 of his team’s final 19 points. “They were trying to shade me one way. That’s fine,” Westbrook told reporters. “It doesn’t really matter which way I go. So, whichever way, I just take what the defense gives me.” The Celtics have their own All-Star point guard capable of putting up big numbers but Kyrie Irving (knee) sat out his third straight game on Sunday as Boston fell at the New Orleans Pelicans 108-89 — its third setback in the last four games. Irving, who leads the Celtics in scoring (24.4 points), assists (5.1) and field-goal percentage (.491), has already been ruled out for Tuesday.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Oklahoma
ABOUT THE THUNDER (43-29): Oklahoma City is sitting in fourth place in the West and had all five starters score in double figures on Sunday, including 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from center Steven Adams. “(Adams) does so many things and (scoring’s) a part of his game obviously that people overlook because of all the other great things he does,” Westbrook told reporters. “His success rate is very, very high when he gets the ball where he wants, and he can get to any spot, move anybody. I’m just lucky and happy he’s on our team.” The 25 points matched a season high for Adams, who added eight rebounds and four assists in the win.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (47-23): Irving isn’t the only player on a growing injury list for Boston, and second-leading scorer Jaylen Brown (14.1 points) missed the last four games while going through the league’s concussion protocol and is also not expected to be in the lineup on Tuesday. The Celtics averaged 90.5 points in the last two games without Brown and Irving and shot 40.2 percent from the floor in Sunday’s setback at New Orleans. “We’re going to have to figure out how to score as long as Jaylen and Kyrie are out,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters.
1. Thunder PF Carmelo Anthony is 16-of-29 from 3-point range over the last four games.
2. Celtics PG Terry Rozier is starting in place of Irving and is averaging 17 points in the last three games.
3. Boston got 25 points from Irving in a 101-94 win at Oklahoma City on Nov. 3.