Celtics wrap up NBA's top seed with rout of OKC



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

Boston’s latest victory over the Thunder earned it yet another luxury with the playoffs fast approaching.

Kristaps Porzingis had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks, helping the Celtics power past the Thunder 135-100 on Wednesday night to secure the best record in the NBA and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Boston, which won its 11th consecutive home game, improved to 60-16 on the season to notch its 14th 60-win season in franchise history. The only other franchise with at least 10 such seasons is the Lakers, who have 11, according to 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 said.

The Celtics, who also were led by Jayson Tatum’s 24 points and Jaylen Brown’s 23 points and seven rebounds, trailed for only 62 seconds in the game.

Brown likes the progression the team has been making as the regular season winds down.

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

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said the milestone is another achievement his team won’t take for granted. But he also said it isn’t something he wants the Celtics to dwell on.

“It’s very hard to do. We may never be in this position again,” Mazzulla said. “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 game with a sprained left hand. He said he got 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 said. “But it bothered me a little bit tonight.”

Boston led by as many as 16 in the first half before Oklahoma City cut it to six points in the third quarter. Leading by 10 after three, the Celtics opened the fourth with a 12-4 run to stretch their lead to 105-87.

Josh Giddey led Oklahoma City with 17 points. Luguentz Dort added 15 points. The Thunder finished with 14 turnovers and were just 5-of-24 from beyond the arc.

OKC played without All-Star and leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat for the fourth time in five games with a bruised right quadriceps. Jalen Williams missed his second straight with a sprained left ankle.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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