Gameday Preview: OKC Thunder aim for perfect road trip and season split vs the Boston Celtics

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OKC Thunder

OKC Thunder, Steven Adams (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

The OKC Thunder took care of business in Florida against the Heat and Magic. Now, the team visits the Celtics at TD Garden aiming for a perfect road trip.

The OKC Thunder have won seven consecutive contests, their latest victory was a throttling of the Miami Heat, 118-102. Oklahoma City built a lead as large as 23, whereas the Heat did not lead by more than two points.

Paul George was sensational once more, he set a career and franchise record for made threes with 10. The previous Thunder record for made threes was eight, Russell Westbrook and PG both accomplished the feat twice.

In addition to the franchise record, PG became the 24th player to make 10 or more treys with 60 percent accuracy on 3-point shots since 2008-09. PG is only the 11th non-Warrior to record such sharp shooting in the same time-span.

According to ESPN Stats and Info Russ’s triple-double combined with PG’s 43 points landed the duo in some elite company:

Moreover, with Miami and Orlando in the rearview mirror, Oklahoma City seeks to close out their three-game road trip undefeated. If they are successful, this will mark the Thunder’s first five-game road winning streak since the 2013-14 campaign.

Expectations skew reality

After pushing the LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston was expected to ascend to the top of the East, with LeBron heading out West. However, with the emergence of the Bucks, Raptors, and Sixers, last season’s second-seed has fallen to fourth.

Boston has been a good team this season, however, preseason aspirations have skewed the view of this talented squad. Generally speaking, the Celtics have performed well as a unit, but Gordon Hayward has underperformed this year, after last season’s gruesome lower leg injury.

The 28-year-old forward out of Butler is averaging his lowest points per game since his rookie season. While also, shooting the second-worst field goal percentage and 3-point percentage of his career.

*Hayward’s career numbers exclude last season, as he only played five minutes, due to his injury.

The C’s may have bigger concerns than Hayward’s sub-par play. Their All-Star starter, Kyrie Irving recanted his statement about planning to stay in Boston, when asked by the New York media prior to their match against the Knicks Irving said Ask me July 1, regarding his intentions to re-sign in Boston.

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