Oâ€™Neal has been sidelined after bumping legs with Amarâ€™e Stoudemire on Oct. 29 and has missed four straight games.
â€œIâ€™m always going on the trip, unless itâ€™s one of those â€˜out for four-to-five weeksâ€™ diagnosis,â€ Oâ€™Neal said. â€œBut Iâ€™m close. I just want to be out there at least (at) 80 percent with the guys. I donâ€™t want to be out there half(way).â€
WHATâ€™S UP, DOC?
Rivers and Brooks chatted briefly at midcourt after the game.
â€œHe said, â€˜Keep working with your young guys. Theyâ€™re going to get a lot better,â€™ â€œ Brooks said. â€œI have a lot of respect for Doc. Heâ€™s one of the best coaches in the league and he understands what it takes to win a league championship. We want to get to that level one day.â€
Longtime wrestling announcer and Norman resident Jim Ross had a chance to work with the Celtics radio broadcast crew during the first half.
â€œIt was on my Bucket List,â€ a smiling Ross said at halftime while visiting with OU womenâ€™s coach Sherri Coale.
The Thunder and Celtics will complete their two-game season series in Boston on Nov. 19. â€¦ An estimated $10,000 was raised for the earthquake relief fund for center Nenad Krsticâ€™s hometown in Serbia. â€¦ Thunder rookie Cole Aldrich grew up in Minnesota and was a Timberwolves fan. His favorite player was the man he defended on Sunday night, 13-time All-Star Kevin Garnett.