For the first time in 104 straight starts, the Thunder foursome of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha and Jeff Green was not introduced together.
Green did not play in Sunday nightâ€™s 92-83 loss to Boston at Oklahoma City Arena because of a left ankle he sprained during Saturdayâ€™s practice. He was replaced in the lineup by forward Serge Ibaka, who made the first NBA start in his career. Ibaka finished with 11 rebounds, eight points and one steal in 36:49 of playing time.
â€œI thought Serge was fine,â€ Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. â€œHe gave a good effort. He gave us a presence down low and he gives us energy. One thing Iâ€™ll say about Serge is he gives us everything he has.â€
It marked the first time since March 11, 2009, the foursome was not in the starting lineup.
Brooks said Green is listed day-to-day. The Thunderâ€™s next game is Wednesday at home against Philadelphia, followed by a Friday game at home against Portland and a Sunday game at home against San Antonio.
With 1:05 left in the game, a technical foul was called on Durant for allegedly holding Paul Pierceâ€™s arm after a Westbrook basket.
However, television replays showed it was Pierce who actually held Durantâ€™s arm.
The NBA reviews all technical fouls. If the league rules in Durantâ€™s favor, his technical will be removed and he will not be required to pay a $2,000 fine.
BIG SHAMROCK SITS
Center Shaquille Oâ€™Neal, who has a bruised right knee, is on the Celticsâ€™ four-game road trip but did not play Sunday. It is uncertain when he might return and Boston coach Doc Rivers said he wasnâ€™t even sure Oâ€™Neal would make the trip.
â€œWhen I got on the plane, Shaq came on the plane. Thatâ€™s how much decision I made in it,â€ Rivers told ESPNBoston.com during Sunday morningâ€™s shoot-around. â€œI donâ€™t even ask. I never do. If heâ€™s healthy, he comes. If heâ€™s not, he doesnâ€™t. If he thinks he has a chance to play â€” and thatâ€™s between him and (Celtics trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) , then he comes. But I never get involved in that. At least I try not to. I donâ€™t ever want a player to feel like Iâ€™m pushing him.â€
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.