Although the Boston Celtics are coming off one of their worst defeats of the season, they don't seem to be too concerned.
The Celtics look to bounce back and beat the Oklahoma City Thunder for a seventh straight time when they meet Wednesday night at TD Garden.
After losing three of four earlier this month, Boston (47-26) won six of seven to assuage fears its aging club was wearing down. Then, the Celtics were completely outplayed at home Sunday against San Antonio.
Boston shot 37.0 percent and missed 13 of 14 3-point attempts in a 94-73 loss. Paul Pierce scored 18 points and Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 10 rebounds, but couldn't prevent the Celtics from posting their lowest point total of the season.
Despite the subpar performance, Ray Allen still believes the team -- which has already clinched a playoff berth and is tied for third in the Eastern Conference -- in good shape to make a deep playoff run.
"This does not change our progress," said Allen, who scored seven points while shooting 2 of 9. "You trip up a little here, but it doesn't change the mission we're on or the direction we're heading."
Boston hasn't had any trouble beating the Thunder lately.
The Celtics, who defeated the Thunder 105-87 on the road Dec. 4, have won six straight meetings in this series -- outscoring the Oklahoma City franchise by an average of 17.0 points in that span -- since a 101-95 loss in Seattle on Dec. 31, 2006. The Celtics have also won nine of the last 10 matchups between these clubs in Boston.
Seven Celtics scored in double figures in the December meeting, led by Garnett's 23 and Pierce's 21.
The Thunder (45-28) arrive in Boston following Tuesday's 111-93 win at Philadelphia to move closer to their first playoff appearance since 2005, when they were the SuperSonics. Oklahoma City, which has won three of four, is sixth in the Western Conference, two games back of fifth-place Denver and seven games ahead of ninth-place Memphis.
"Every game is critical for us," said Kevin Durant, the league's second-leading scorer (29.6) behind only LeBron James' 29.8 average. "We just want to go out there and play are hardest and leave it all out on the floor."
Durant, who had 36 points against the Celtics in December, led the Thunder on Tuesday with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while point guard Russell Westbrook had 10 points and 14 assists with only one turnover.
This will be Oklahoma City's last matchup with an Eastern Conference opponent before closing the regular season with eight straight contests against West rivals. The Thunder will follow this matchup with games against Dallas, Minnesota, Utah, Denver and Phoenix -- all but the West-worst Timberwolves have already clinched a playoff berth.
"We start every game with the same approach, to have a serious competitive effort no matter who we're playing," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.