Irving, Celtics outlast Thunder in 134-129 thriller
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 04, 2019 07:02 AM
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, right, defends against Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
By Gethin Coolbaugh, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving had 30 points and 11 assists, Marcus Morris scored 19 points, and the Boston Celtics snapped the Oklahoma City Thunder's league-best seven-game win streak with a 134-129 victory Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
Marcus Smart added 18 points and seven assists, Al Horford scored 17 points and Daniel Theis had 14 off the Celtics bench.
Boston has won four straight since falling short against Golden State on Jan. 26 (Jan. 27, PHL time) and nine of its last 10 games overall.
Paul George scored 37 points and Russell Westbrook notched his 19th triple-double of the season with 22 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds for the Thunder.
Steven Adams and Dennis Schroeder each had 16 points for Oklahoma City, and Jerami Grant scored 15.
Oklahoma City suffered its first loss since a 138-128 overtime setback against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 17 (Jan. 18, PHL time).
Westbrook made two free throws to pull Oklahoma City within 127-125 with 45.9 seconds remaining 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 1-of-2 free throws. Irving stripped Westbrook with 8.1 seconds on the clock and got the ball back to Tatum, who sealed the win at the line.
The Thunder opened the second half on an 18-7 run to pull ahead 76-73 with 7:53 left in the third quarter.
Morris tied it at 76 with a three-pointer and Smart hit back-to-back triples to spark an 18-6 run that put Boston back up by double figures. The Celtics led 99-93 going into the fourth.
Thunder: George has made at least two three-pointers in 31 straight games. ... Oklahoma City enjoyed its best offensive month in franchise history in January, averaging 120.6 points and 44.1 made field goals while going 9-5. ... F Abdel Nader (illness) did not play in his return to Boston. Nader, a 2016 second-round draft pick of the Celtics, averaged 3.0 points in 48 games as a rookie last season with Boston.
Celtics: Irving scored 20 in the first half, giving him 20 or more points in a season-high nine straight games. ... C Aron Baynes missed Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) game after an MRI exam Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) revealed a contusion in his left foot. "I don't anticipate him being back anytime in the next week or so," coach Brad Stevens said. ... C/F Robert Williams (back tightness) also sat and is considered day-to-day.
Oklahoma City began the season with four straight losses, the last a 101-95 home defeat by Boston on Oct. 25.
"They're 33-14 since, which is as good as anybody in the league and they look like that," Stevens said before tipoff.
Patriots fans who didn't travel to Atlanta to watch New England face the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl made their presence felt at TD Garden. A sea of Tom Brady jerseys, "Beat LA" T-shirts and Pats-related signs accented the crowd. One fan shown on the video board wearing a Rams' Todd Gurley jersey was soundly booed.
Thunder: Host the Magic on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHl time) to begin a stretch of seven of 11 at home.
Celtics: Visit the Cavaliers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) before hosting ex-Cavs star LeBron James and the rival Lakers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).