After four months without basketball, the Celtics scrimmaged with another team other than themselves on Friday, as they fell 98-84 to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Visa Athletic Center in Orlando.
Enes Kanter finished with a team-high 11 points and 10 rebounds in 12 minutes of action off the bench. Jaylen Brown added nine points, while Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis scored eight points a piece in the Celtics first intersquad scrimmage of their mini-training camp in the NBA bubble.
Boston dug themselves into a double-digit hole early in the first quarter, while Steven Adams led the Thunder with 17 points and seven rebounds at the half. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also netted 17 points and former Celtic Abdel Nader added 11.
"We're better with Kemba but we're certainly capable when he's not there," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens after the loss. "We did some good things. That first half we struggled mostly with (Steven) Adams and we got to be better against him. For the most part, we did some good things in that first half."The Celtics bench outscored the Thunder's 49-44, while both teams sat their starters in the second half. No player played more than 18 minutes for Boston, as Kemba Walker (knee) and Romeo Langford (illness) did not play.
With Walker out, Jayson Tatum struggled to get any offense going, shooting 1-of-6 from the field scoring only three points and grabbing four rebounds in 18 minutes. The Celtics overall shot 44.4 percent, including a lack luster 20.8 percent from behind the arc (5-of-24), compared to the Thunder who hit 52.1 percent of their shots and lead by as many as 18 points.
For the Celtics it wasn't exactly the type of performance they were expecting and they know they have little time to get back to where they were somewhat before the season was suspended.
"We have a short amount of time to get to the peak of the level that we want to get at, but we've got to do what it takes," said Jaylen Brown in his postgame video media session.Boston will look to have a better outing and maybe even their All-Star point guard back in Walker, when they face the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. EST.
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