Oklahoma City at Boston

Westbrook big, Thunder drop Celtics

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BOSTON -- Russell Westbrook hit a 3-pointer and then shimmied his hands down his torso, bent his body at the knees and strutted down the sideline in celebration.

Just 39 seconds later -- this time with less than a minute left in the game -- he did it all over again.

Westbrook scored 26 points, including two of Oklahoma City's four 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes, to help the Thunder beat the slumping Boston Celtics 97-88 on Monday night. Kevin Durant scored 28 with seven rebounds for Oklahoma City, which won its seventh consecutive game.

"They started doubling K.D. later in the game," Westbrook said. "I just tried to be aggressive and find my open spots."

Paul Pierce scored 24 points, Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Jermaine O'Neal had 12 points and 11 boards for the Celtics. Rajon Rondo scored 12 points with nine rebounds and nine assists for Boston, which lost a fifth straight game for the first time in the New Big 3 era.

"None of us likes to lose; that's the frustrating part," Pierce said. "I think I like where we are headed, there are just little things that are really killing us."

More on Thunder-Celtics
Related links
More NBA coverage

After trailing by 10 points to start the fourth quarter, the Celtics cut the deficit to two before Durant hit a 3 that made it 81-76 with 4:42 left. Garnett made a pair of free throws, then Durant threw down a tomahawk dunk.

Oklahoma City then hit four 3-pointers in a row - one from Thabo Sefolosha, two from Westbrook and another from Sefolosha that made it 95-85 with 24 seconds left. The Thunder were 2 for 11 from 3-point range in the first three quarters and 5 for 8 in the fourth.

"We stayed with it," Durant said. "We made some good shots. Our offense is predicated on the drive-and-kick; that's what we work on every day."

Kendrick Perkins had seven points and five rebounds in his first game back in Boston since the trade that sent him to Oklahoma City and broke up the starting lineup from the Celtics' 2008 NBA championship team. In the first quarter, his old team played a video on the scoreboard with highlights from his 7 ½ years in Boston.

"Mentally, I was out of it," said Perkins, the 27th pick in the 2003 draft. "It was unbelievable. I really appreciated it. It was something they didn't have to do."

Perkins went over to the Celtics bench before the opening tip to hug the coaches and chest-bump some of his former teammates, and midway through the first quarter a video tribute was played on the scoreboard. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, which Perkins acknowledged by walking to center court alone and waving.

"It was emotional for him. He grew up here," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He's loved by his former coach, teammates and the fans, and rightfully so. He does everything that you want your player to do. ... That's a classy organization, for what they did on the scoreboard."

Boston cut the deficit to 83-80 with 2:25 to play, but Westbrook cut across the lane and whipped a two-handed pass to Sefolosha in the corner for the 3. After Rondo scored on a putback, Westbrook hit a 3-pointer of his own -- then celebrated by strutting down the sideline.

Garnett hit Mickael Pietrus to set up a Celtics 3-pointer, but Westbrook answered again to make it 92-85.

The Celtics had not had a five-game losing streak since they lost seven straight and eight of the last nine games of the 2006-07 season, a year when they also had an 18-game losing streak that was the longest in franchise history. That summer they began assembling the New Big 3 -- bringing in Garnett and Ray Allen to join Pierce, with Rondo and Perkins rounding out the lineup for a team that won the franchise's 17th NBA title.

Boston returned to the finals in 2010, but Perkins tore up his knee in Game 6 against the Lakers and missed Game 7, which Los Angeles won 83-79.

With Perkins' rehabilitation due to last well into the following season, general manager Danny Ainge signed Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal. Confident that they would remain healthy contributors, Ainge traded Perkins to Oklahoma City for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green, but neither of them was able to remain in the lineup and the Celtics lost in the second round of the playoffs to Miami.

The trade looked even worse when Green was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm, requiring surgery that put him out for this entire season. He is now a free agent.

Notes

  • New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty and receiver Julian Edelman took time off from their preparations for the AFC championship to attend the game.
  • The teams split their games last year, each winning on the road. Durant missed the game in Boston with a sore left ankle.
  • Thunder guard Reggie Jackson played at Boston College.
  • The Celtics had 19 turnovers that led to 24 Thunder points; Oklahoma City had 13 turnovers that led to two Boston points.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins scores seven points and grabs five boards in an emotional return to Boston.  (Getty Images)
Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins scores seven points and grabs five boards in an emotional return to Boston. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Oklahoma City (12-2) «2521262597
Boston (4-8)1722232688
OKC:K. Durant 28 Pts
OKC:K. Durant 7 Reb
OKC:K. Durant 4 Ast
BOS:P. Pierce 24 Pts
BOS:K. Garnett 12 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 9 Ast
Players of the Game
Oklahoma CityBoston

Kevin Durant

Paul Pierce
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
28742451

Related Video

Oklahoma City
K. Durant, SF419-208-874128
R. Westbrook, PG409-185-674126
T. Sefolosha, SF347-93-351219
K. Perkins, C283-51-15047
S. Ibaka, PF233-60-04016
J. Harden, SG272-81-13145
N. Collison, PF203-70-06056
D. Cook, SG110-30-01100
N. Mohammed, C80-20-02010
R. Jackson, PG80-20-00200
R. Ivey, PGDid Not Play
E. Maynor, PGDid Not Play
C. Aldrich, CDid Not Play
L. Hayward, SFDid Not Play
R. Reid, PFDid Not Play
Totals 36-8018-1940131997
 45.0%94.7% 
Boston
R. Rondo, PG406-140-099512
R. Allen, SG392-71-12206
P. Pierce, SF398-156-651324
K. Garnett, PF315-192-2125312
J. O'Neal, C265-112-3110112
B. Bass, PF221-52-21124
M. Pietrus, SG215-91-220114
M. Daniels, SG122-30-06014
E. Moore, SG80-40-00000
G. Stiemsma, C10-00-00010
K. Dooling, PGDid Not Play
C. Wilcox, CDid Not Play
S. Pavlovic, SGDid Not Play
J. Johnson, PFDid Not Play
A. Bradley, PGDid Not Play
Totals 34-8714-1648181788
 39.1%87.5% 
Other Games
Orl 102 Final
NY 93
Chi 86 Final
Mem 102
Mil 82 Final
Phi 94
Hou 114 Final
Wash 106
Cle 102 Final
Char 94
Port 84 Final
NO 77
NJ 91 Final
LAC 101
Tor 84 Final
Atl 93
Sac 86 Final
Min 99
Dal 70 Final
LAL 73