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
"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. "It’s amazing. This is a young team that needs some time to improve and still the support has been there.”
The Thunder’s eight-point, first-quarter lead was its largest lead all season. ... Rookie guard Kyle Weaver
made his debut late in the first quarter when Earl Watson
and Russell Westbrook
had two fouls each. ... Center Robert Swift
suited out but didn’t play. Center Mo Sene
was inactive. ... Funny moment: Veteran guard Sam Cassell
, inactive for the Celtics, playfully pulled the handkerchief out of Thunder assistant coach Mark Bryant’s
suit at the end of the third quarter and pretended to blow his nose.
Point guard Watson on the election: "For my generation it was the first time we’ve had something historical happen as far as social change. The ’60s had their moments. But for our generation, we didn’t have a person, or a situation, that was a historical event that we could relate to or actually see. For us, it was very influential.”
If you’ve attended any of the first three home games, you probably realized the pregame introduction of the song "Thunderstruck” isn’t AC/DC’s version of the hit song. Thunder officials hired the Oklahoma City-based rock band Hinder to record a new version. Hinder appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday night.
BY MIKE BALDWIN