Tue, Feb 05, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Celtics down Thunder in thriller


The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, right, defends against Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics in their NBA game in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

Eight days after letting a win slip away against the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics were able to finish the job against another tough Western Conference opponents.

Kyrie Irving on Sunday had 30 points and 11 assists as Boston overcame big games from Oklahoma City stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook to snap the Thunder’s seven-game winning streak in a 134-129 thriller.

Boston have won four straight since a 115-111 home loss to the Warriors on Jan. 26 and have won nine of their past 10 games overall.

“We battled against Golden State, but [this is] a good win,” said Al Horford, who had 17 points and nine assists. “This team has been playing really well and it’s just good to get this win here at home.”

Marcus Morris had 19 points, while Marcus Smart added 18 and seven assists.

George scored 37 points and Russell Westbrook notched his sixth straight triple-double, his 19th of the season with 22 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.

“We just played a good team,” George said. “I thought they made some big plays, big shots. Gotta live with it.”

Steven Adams and Dennis Schroeder each had 16 points for Oklahoma City, while Jerami Grant scored 15.

Oklahoma City suffered their first loss since a 138-128 overtime setback against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 17.

Westbrook made two free throws to pull Oklahoma City within 127-125 with 45.9 seconds left after Boston had led by six with 1:27 to go.

Irving’s driving finger-roll with 23.3 seconds left put Boston up by four, but Grant answered with a three-pointer to bring the Thunder within 129-128.

Oklahoma City squandered a chance to take the lead after Jayson Tatum missed one of two free throws.

Irving stripped Westbrook with 8.1 seconds on the clock and Horford got the ball back to Tatum, who sealed the win at the line.

“In a [tight] game like that, I’ve just got to take care of the ball, so that’s on me,” Westbrook said.

Also on Sunday, it was:

‧ Raptors 121, Clippers 103

‧ Grizzlies 96, Knicks 84

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