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Takeaways on Celtics close win, 126-122, over Thunder

 The Celtics' battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder last night could have gone either way, but Boston pulled it out for the 126-122 win. Here are a few thoughts:

Celtics getting better at Crunch Time. Boston has a recent history of faltering late in close games, but age and experience seems to have quelled much of that - thus the win.

Marcus Smart solid at the point. Marcus may never be remembered post-retirement as an NBA marksman, but he has become a legit threat to score in the clutch. He racked up 22 points in the win, with 20 of them coming after half-time. He hit 67% of his field goals and 50% from 3-point land. He added five rebounds and a team-high eight assists.

Payton Pritchard is making it difficult for Brad Stevens to trade him. Payton and Derrick White were catalysts in Boston's comeback in the contest. Pritchard had 10 points in only 14 minutes and may have been responsible for turning the tide in Boston's favor. He is a true "opportunist", hitting the long ball, sneaking in for offensive boards and making steals. He needs to stick in Beantown.

Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams are under scrutiny from the refs. Both players got early technicals for complaining about calls. It can't get to the point where any gesture by either one gets a tech - particularly in the post-season. They need to shed the reputation.

The game itself was entertaining. Despite their 6-8 record, the Thunder are skilled and play hard. I doubt any team wants to meet them in the regular season. The game was fun to watch.


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