The Boston Celtics (15-16) come to OKC (25-7) having lost six of their last seven games and also having lost starting point guard Rajon Rondo to a two-game suspension, the second of which will be served Wednesday at 6 p.m. against the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Rondo was suspended for flinging the ball into the midsection of official Sean Wright following a no-call during the Celtics' 96-81 loss Sunday night at Detroit.
The suspension was handed down before Boston's 89-73 loss Monday night at Dallas.
“When he (Rondo) walked in he said, ‘What do you think?' and I said, ‘You're not playing tonight,'” Boston coach Doc Rivers told The Boston Globe. “He knew the one game. I think he's very surprised at the two.”
Rondo's next appearance will be after the All-Star break on Feb. 28 at Cleveland.
The Thunder never has beaten the Boston Celtics in OKC. The results:
Nov. 5, 2008 – Celtics 96, Thunder 83
Dec. 4, 2009 – Celtics 105, Thunder 87
Nov. 7, 2010 – Celtics 92, Thunder 83
On the flip side, the Thunder has beaten the Celtics three straight times in Boston. The results:
March 9, 2009 – Celtics 103, Thunder 84
March 31, 2010 – Thunder 109, Celtics 104
Nov. 19, 2010 – Thunder 89, Celtics 84
Jan. 16, 2012 – Thunder 97, Celtics 88
BY THE NUMBERS
The Thunder is …
9-0: When shooting 50 percent or better.
8-0: With 10 steals or more.
7-0: Opponent scores less than 90 points.
6-0: Outrebounding opponent by 10 or more.
4-0: Three OKC players score 20-plus.
2-0: Overtime games.
13-1: Home record.
10-1: More assists than opponents.
10-1: Opponent shooting less than 40 percent.
14-2: Serge Ibaka blocks 3-plus shots.
12-2: Fewer points in paint
11-2: National TV games.
8-2: First game back-to-back.
13-3: Bench outscores opponents' bench.
10-3: Kevin Durant scores 30-plus points.
38-11: Record with for Kendrick Perkins in the starting lineup.
Results from an ESPN SportsNation poll that asked: Which was the biggest NBA story from the weekend?
Jeremy Lin with 28 points and 14 assists vs. Dallas Mavericks? – 26 percent
Durant and Russell Westbrook combine for 91 points vs. Denver Nuggets – 74 percent
Durant on playing the Celtics and Lakers: “We can't look at these games as any more special than the others. We just have to come out and play like we know we can.”
Please note Wednesday's game against the Celtics starts at 6 p.m., one hour earlier than usual due to national television coverage on ESPN.
The Thunder plays its last game before the All-Star break on Thursday, facing the Los Angeles Lakers at 8:30 p.m. in a nationally televised game on TNT.
After All-Star break, OKC opens with three straight road games – Philadelphia next Wednesday; Orlando on March 1; Atlanta on March 3 – but then returns to play 10 of its next 12 at home, including five straight at the outset.