Boston’s three stars combined for 55 points, but Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo said Leon Powe scoring all 11 of his points in the second quarter was the turning point. After Powe helped the Celtics overcome a 29-21 first-quarter deficit, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett took over.
"You have three exceptional players, but last year those three defended better than they’ve ever defended in their careers,” Carlesimo said. "That’s what we saw tonight, excellent players, playing excellent defense.”
Allen, who played 4 1/2 seasons with the Sonics, reiterated before Wednesday’s game that Oklahoma City has shown tremendous support, but he feels strongly the NBA needs to put another team in Seattle.
"It’s tough to say how many teams should be in the NBA,” Allen said. "It’s tough to say how the divisions would break down. I just know Seattle deserves a team. I know the disagreement the city had with the ownership group — Clay Bennett
’s group. But it definitely worked. Having basketball in Seattle is better for the league.”
OKLAHOMA STATE TALK
Former Oklahoma State guard Tony Allen
, who has a larger role with the Celtics after James Posey
signed with New Orleans, left two tickets for former OSU coach Eddie Sutton
, who underwent hip surgery in late September. Sutton also chatted with Thunder guard Desmond Mason
, another former OSU player, after the game.
"When the Hornets were here I was concerned whether Oklahoma City could support an NBA team, but they’ve continued to show great support,” Sutton said.