KEYS VERSUS BOSTON
Celtics guard Paul Pierce scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half to lead Boston to its win over the Thunder in the last meeting. His sudden explosion characterized how the Celtics are capable of applying non-stop pressure while doing it with tremendous precision.
Those are two things the Thunder knows it must be prepared to handle.
“They test your defensive principles because they execute really well and they screen really well,” said Nick Collison. “You have to be able to do (be sharp) the whole game … because they're going to execute the whole game. They're going to screen every time and they're going to move the ball every time. So they'll make you pay for mistakes and lapses in focus.”
Boston signed former Thunder forward D.J. White to a 10-day contract on Feb. 28. The contract expired Saturday, but White traveled with the team to Oklahoma City, a sign that he's would sign either a second 10-day contract or agree to a deal for the rest of the season. White has appeared in one game for the Celtics, grabbing two rebounds and blocking two shots. … As a guest of Thunder general manager Sam Presti, Hugo High School junior Trey Johnson is scheduled for a meet and greet with Russell Westbrook and possibly other Thunder players before the Boston game. … Oklahoma City is 8-3 on Sundays. … The Thunder is 8-2 in the first game of back-to-backs. … The Thunder is 20-2 when at least five players score 10 points or more. … Boston has four players that once played in Oklahoma City with Green, White and Chris Wilcox as former members of the Thunder and Brandon Bass as part of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.
BY DARNELL MAYBERRY