April 17, 2024

Celtics clinch NBA’s best record with runaway win against OKC

Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault likened the Celtics’ efficiency this season to that of a Ferrari.

Boston’s newest victory over the Thunder earned it yet one more luxurious with the playoffs quick approaching.

Kristaps Porzingis had 27 factors, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks, serving to the Celtics energy previous the Thunder 135-100 on Wednesday night time to safe the best record within the NBA and home-court benefit all through the playoffs.

Boston, which received its eleventh consecutive dwelling sport, improved to 60-16 on the season to notch its 14th 60-win season in franchise historical past. The solely different franchise with at the very least 10 such seasons is the Lakers, who’ve 11, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Information.

“We deserve it. I think it’s possibly going to matter if we follow through with the vision we have for ourselves,” Porzingis mentioned.

The Celtics, who additionally have been led by Jayson Tatum‘s 24 factors and Jaylen Brown‘s 23 factors and 7 rebounds, trailed for under 62 seconds within the sport.

Brown likes the development the group has been making because the common season winds down.

“We’re not skipping any steps,” Brown mentioned. “Sixty wins. I think we’re on track. When the playoffs start, it’s back to square one.”

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla mentioned the milestone is one other achievement his group will not take as a right. But he additionally mentioned it is not one thing he needs the Celtics to dwell on.

“It’s very hard to do. We may never be in this position again,” Mazzulla mentioned. “We talked about it as a team. We talked about it before the game, to try to treat this game as the clincher. To kind of put that on ourselves to be able to do that. I think it was important for us to simulate that. … We should enjoy it tonight, and when wake up tomorrow — nobody cares.”

Brown was questionable heading into the sport with a sprained left hand. He mentioned he bought it examined after Boston’s win at Charlotte on Monday and described it as a sprained ligament.

“I think it’s fine. It’s something I’m not concerned with moving forward,” he mentioned. “But it bothered me a little bit tonight.”

Boston led by as many as 16 within the first half earlier than Oklahoma City minimize it to 6 factors within the third quarter. Leading by 10 after three, the Celtics opened the fourth with a 12-4 run to stretch their result in 105-87.

Josh Giddey led Oklahoma City with 17 factors. Luguentz Dort added 15 factors. The Thunder completed with 14 turnovers and have been simply 5-of-24 from past the arc.

OKC performed with out All-Star and main scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat for the fourth time in 5 video games with a bruised proper quadriceps. Jalen Williams missed his second straight with a sprained left ankle.

Information from The Associated Press was used on this report.