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Celtics cap perfect road trip with win over Thunder

Sportsnaut
Mar 21, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Tre Mann (23) moves the ball while defended by Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) and  center Al Horford (42) during the first half at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum scored 36 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 132-123 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

The Celtics swept their four-game road trip and the two-game season series against the Thunder.

Oklahoma City dropped its 10th consecutive game overall and fell for the 11th straight home game.

The Celtics, who never trailed, led by as many as 26 points early in the fourth quarter before the Thunder made a strong push at the end, cutting the deficit to seven in the final minute

However, Oklahoma City could get no closer.

The game was similar to the first meeting between the teams, when Boston built a 25-point lead before the Thunder battled back to stay in the game late in a 111-105 Celtics home win on Nov. 20.

Jaylen Brown added 25 points for Boston on Monday while Grant Williams added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Derrick White and Payton Pritchard scored 18 each for the Celtics, who shot 51.2 percent from the field.

The Celtics built a big lead quickly, scoring the game’s first 13 points.

Making his first start since Feb. 27, Williams scored seven of Boston’s points during a 17-2 opening.

By the time the Celtics’ 38-point first quarter was over, Boston led by 17 points.

The Celtics stretched their lead to 22 early in the second quarter before Oklahoma City rookie Tre Mann started a personal barrage over the final six minutes plus of the first half.

Mann hit five 3-pointers in less than three minutes and scored 23 points over the final 6:06 of the second quarter to keep the Thunder within striking distance.

Mann was 8 of 8 from the floor, hitting six 3-pointers, in the quarter while the rest of Oklahoma City’s roster was just 2 of 14 from the floor.

It was the second time Mann scored 20 or more points in a quarter in a four-day span. He had 20 in the second quarter at Miami on Friday, a franchise rookie for a rookie in any period — a mark he topped Monday.

Mann finished with a Thunder-rookie-record 35 points, going 13 of 21 from the floor and making a season-high seven 3-pointers.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 31 points while Darius Bazley scored 22 and Aleksej Pokusevski a season-high 19 for Oklahoma City.

–Field Level Media