The Thunder (9-4) and Celtics (7-6) clashed for four full quarters of competitive action but Boston would pull away in the end, snapping a two-game losing streak in beating the Thunder 108-100. This is only the Thunder’s second loss in 10 games.
Kevin Durant was the star for OKC, scoring 29 points in this effort. Russell Westbrook put up 26 of his own and also had eight assists and seven rebounds, showing once again how much of a team player he is and how pivotal he is in tough games. Serge Ibaka had a double-double performance, putting up 17 points and 13 rebounds as well.
The Thunder led by seven points after one quarter but the Celtics surged back to take a 48-45 lead into the half. Paul Pierce really exploded after the half, sinking three straight baskets and helping to extend the Celtics’ lead. Pierce scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half.
Boston led 84-70 after another three-pointer by Pierce with less than 10 minutes left in the game, but the Thunder quickly responded. They got within six points thanks to a 3-pointer from Durant and a big dunk from Ibaka. Boston then pulled away again, and it was 101-89 when Westbrook nailed a pair of free throws followed by another tre from Durant. They then each added a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to three points.
With the chance to tie Durant released another one from beyond the arc but he missed, and then a pair of made free throws later from Celtics center Kevin Garnett put the game just out of reach for OKC. Jason Terry put the final nail in the coffin when he drained a three with just over 30 seconds left in the game.
Both teams shot nearly the same from the floor, 47-percent for the Thunder to 48-percent for the Celtics. It was a close game from beginning to finish, with these two teams slugging it out until the very end.
The Thunder travel to Philadelphia next on Saturday to take on the 76ers.