Good, bad, & ugly: Thunder pull away in 2nd half

Good, bad, & ugly: Thunder pull away in 2nd half
January 5, 2014, 11:45 pm
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Even in the NBA, a team can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Look at the Boston Celtics who were on the road Sunday night at Oklahoma City to face a Thunder squad that had lost two straight and three of their last four at home.

A motivated Oklahoma City club delivered a dominant performance in defeating the Celtics 119-96. It was the most points given up by Boston (13-21) this season.

The Celtics were able to hang with the Thunder in the first half, and were within two points (51-49) after a 3-pointer by Kelly Olynyk.

But the Thunder stormed back as Oklahoma City closed out the second quarter with a 15-7 spurt to lead 66-56 at the half.

Although Oklahoma City seemed to be in good shape, there was a sense among Thunder players that they had to come out strong to start the third in order to end any hopes the Celtics had of a comeback.

"We said at halftime,we wanted to come out in the third and put the game way," former Celtic Kendrick Perkins, who had a season-high 12 points for Oklahoma City, told Comcast SportsNet's Abby Chin after the Thunder victory. "I thought we did a good job the first two minutes."

Oklahoma City scored the first six points of the third, with their control never waning the rest of the game as the points for Oklahoma City continued to pile on.

"They were scoring at will," said Boston's Jared Sullinger.

And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Sunday's loss.

The Good

3-point shooting

The 3-point shot gave Boston true hope in the first half that they could pull off the major upset, connecting on eight of their 13 3s. But the second half was a different story as Boston was 8-for-13 on 3s in the first half alone, and finished a respectable 11-for-23.

Reggie Jackson

The Boston College product had his best game as a pro, leading the Thunder with a career-high 27 points with an array of drives to the basket and 3-pointers.

The Bad

Brandon Bass

He hasn't had many bad games this season, but Sunday's performance certainly qualifies as one. Bass missed four of his five shots from the field to finish with four points. He grabbed five rebounds but failed in providing the defensive presence the Celtics desperately needed.

The Ugly

Jared Sullinger

Sullinger's struggles continue with yet another sub-par shooting performance. On Sunday, he had nine points and eight rebounds before fouling out having logged just 19 minutes. The bone bruise and sprained ligaments in his left hand continue to limit his effectiveness as a scorer. In Boston's last four games, all losses, he has averaged 8.8 points on 26.1 percent shooting which includes him missing all seven of his 3-point attempts. For the season, Sullinger is averaging 13.4 points while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. However, the injury has not impacted his ability to rebound. In the last four games, Sullinger is averaging 10 rebounds per game which is nearly three more than his 7.3 rebounds per game average this season.