Irving's big 2nd half leads Celtics past Thunder 101-94
FILE - Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the National Anthem before the game against the San Antonio Spurs on October 30, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kyrie Irving scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half and the Boston Celtics rallied from 18 down to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-94 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) for their seventh straight victory.
Al Horford scored 17 of his 20 points after halftime and Jaylen Brown added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics. Boston has allowed 94 or fewer points in every game during its winning streak.
Paul George had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 11 assists for the Thunder. Carmelo Anthony had 10 points and 14 rebounds but shot just 3-of-17.
In a play that seemingly summarized the first half, Irving drove hard to the hoop in the closing seconds of the second quarter and went for a layup before Andre Roberson emphatically swatted it to the ground as time expired with the Thunder leading 55-37. Irving was 1-of-9 from the field before the break.
Boston chipped away at Oklahoma City's lead throughout the third quarter and cut it to a point. Irving had nine points in the period to help the Celtics shave their deficit to 71-67.
A 3-pointer by Semi Ojeleye with just under six minutes to play tied it at 79, and a 3-pointer by Horford put the Celtics ahead 82-79.
Irving made a Three and was fouled by Westbrook. Irving missed the free throw, but came up with the rebound and made a layup to put the Celtics up 87-81 with 4:13 to play. Irving's layup with 14.6 seconds remaining gave Boston a five-point lead.
Celtics: Irving went scoreless with no assists in the first quarter. His first points of the game came with about two minutes left in the first half. ... Boston shot just 30 percent in the first quarter.
Thunder: Westbrook was called for a Flagrant 1 foul in the first quarter against Brown. ... George scored 10 points in the first period. ... Oklahoma City was outscored 30-16 in the third. ... Westbrook finished with five fouls. ... Anthony shot 1-for-12 in the second half.
Celtics: At the surprising Orlando Magic on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The teams entered Friday (Saturday, PHL time tied for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Thunder: At the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).