One encounter, if you were brave enough to bear the blowout and still were watching attentively midway through the third quarter, summed up the Thunder’s 105-87 loss to Boston on Friday night at the Ford Center.
It came after a whistle with 5:37 remaining in the period. Kevin Durant had just drawn a shooting foul on Celtics forward Paul Pierce, and as Durant marched to the foul line, Kevin Garnett shoved the Thunder’s star with two hands.
Durant briefly glared at Garnett before shaking off the slight and walked away. Only Etan Thomas came to the defense of the face of the franchise, chiming in with a too-little-too-late exchange with the Celtics’ forward.
The sequence served as the summit of Boston’s bullying of the Thunder. The Celtics embarrassed the home team like it’s never experienced inside the Ford Center this season. Boston led by as many as 24 points, but none of the final statistics account for just how thoroughly Boston physically and mentally manhandled the Thunder.
"We let them take us totally out of what we try to do,” said Oklahoma City’s Nick Collison. "Some of that was their intensity defensively. But it seemed like we couldn’t get into any of our stuff on the offensive end because they took us out.”
Durant lost his cool two minutes after his run-in with Garnett and was whistled for his first career technical foul after arguing a foul call. Durant, however, called Boston’s trash-talking tactics "fake toughness” and said the antics didn’t throw off the Thunder.
"I shouldn’t have got fired up that much. That’s not me...I shouldn’t have pouted like that and got upset,” Durant said.
Box score from Friday's game