Celtics Clinch Top Seed In NBA With Win Over Thunder

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Boston Celtics have been the best team in the NBA throughout the 2023-24 regular season. On Wednesday night in their matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they made that official.

The Celtics steamrolled the Thunder, winning 135-100 to improve their record to 60-16 on the season. That victory provides them the luxury of having homecourt advantage throughout the NBA Postseason, as Boston has clinched the best record in the league.

The win was Boston’s 11th consecutive at home and the 14th time in franchise history they have won at least 60 games in the season. The only other franchise with at least 10 such seasons is the Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kristaps Porzingis, Jaylen Brown, Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics Updates

One of the main contributors on Wednesday night was Kristaps Porzingis. He scored 27 points with 12 rebounds and five blocks as he was dominant on both ends of the court. “We deserve it. I think it’s possibly going to matter if we follow through with the vision we have for ourselves,” Porzingis said.

Joining Porzingis in breaking the 20-point barrier was Jayson Tatum, who had 24 points, and Jaylen Brown, who had 23. Brown, in particular, has been pleased with how things have progressed during the season and the direction the team is heading.

“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.”

The only thing that kept the Celtics from reaching the 60-win plateau earlier was the pesky Atlanta Hawks. They were swept in back-to-back games on the road in Atlanta, as the Hawks overcame a 30-point deficit in the first matchup and then won in overtime in the second.

Those teams could be on a collision course for the first round of the NBA Playoffs, as the Hawks are going to be partaking in the NBA Play-In Tournament for a chance to earn the No. 8 seed. But, it will be a different Celtics team taking the court in the postseason, as they are focused on the goal ahead, already moving on from their 60-win achievement.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kristaps Porzingis, Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics Updates

“It’s very hard to do. We may never be in this position again,” head coach Joe 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.”

How many wins will the Celtics get up to? They have six games remaining in the regular season and three of them are against teams already eliminated from the postseason. But, Boston could opt to rest players here and there to get them as close to 100 percent healthy for what they hope is a deep playoff run.

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