Jayson Tatum scored 27 points — 13 in the fourth quarter — to lead the Boston Celtics to a 111-94 win over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.
The Celtics hadn’t led until the fourth quarter, when they blitzed the Thunder with a 21-2 run to start the quarter and gain control.
After Boston battled back to tie it in the opening minutes of the fourth, newly acquired Luke Kornet, making his Celtics debut, drained a 3-pointer to give the Celtics their first lead less than two minutes into the fourth, then hit another on the next possession to put Boston’s run into overdrive.
The Thunder missed their first eight shots of the fourth and turned the ball over three times as the Celtics went from trailing by four entering the quarter to leading by as many as 18 points.
Boston scored 26 points off 18 Oklahoma City turnovers.
While the Thunder struggled on the offensive end late, the Celtics started the fourth 9 of 12 from the floor.
While Tatum and Kornet played major roles in the fourth, Jaylen Brown helped put the Celtics in position to pull the game out late.
Brown scored 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter to help Boston stay close.
Theo Maledon led the Thunder with 22 points.
Moses Brown had career highs in points (21) and rebounds (23). He had 17 points and 19 rebounds at halftime.
It was Brown’s fourth double-double in six games.
The Thunder were already without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and their depth took a further hit with the announcement before the game that veteran Al Horford would sit for the rest of the season.
Early in the third, they lost Luguentz Dort due to concussion-like symptoms.
The Celtics were also short-handed, with Kemba Walker sitting for rest on the second night of a back-to-back.
Evan Fournier, who was acquired in a Thursday trade with Orlando, did not make his Celtics debut due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
–Field Level Media