Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder had been struggling on their own court, losing two straight and three out of their last four at home. Kevin Durant made sure that trend didn’t continue Sunday night.
Celtics forward Brandon Bass puts up a shot against Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and Jeremy Lamb during Boston’s 119-96 loss Sunday night.
The Associated Press
Durant overcame a slow start to finish with 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, Reggie Jackson scored a career-high 27 points, and the Thunder rolled to a 119-96 win over the Boston Celtics.
Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which had struggled at home after starting the season 13-0 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder (27-7) have the best record in the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City seized control early, going on a 10-0 run in the first quarter and never trailing again.
Coach Scott Brooks said the emphasis wasn’t so much on winning at home, but instead eliminating the in-game lapses that led to recent home losses to Toronto, Portland and Brooklyn.
“It’s just important that we just play a 48-minute game,” Brooks said. “I thought we had good moments on the games that we lost, but it wasn’t consistent throughout the game and the other teams got hot down the stretch and we couldn’t stop it.
“But we didn’t go into the game and say, ‘Guys, we’ve got to win tonight because we’ve lost three out of our last four at home.’ We went into the game, ‘Guys, we want to keep playing our style of basketball.’”
Jeff Green and Avery Bradley scored 19 points apiece for Boston, which has lost four straight and seven of its last eight.
“I thought our ball movement in the first half was really good,” Boston Coach Brad Stevens said. “That dried up in the second, and we didn’t help each other on defense very often. One of the things we’ve got to do as a group is when things don’t go well, we’ve got to collect ourselves quicker and make things go in our favor again. When things are going well, we’re not bad, but when things don’t go well, we haven’t responded well lately.”
HEAT 102, RAPTORS 97: LeBron James scored 30 points, Michael Beasley came off the bench to add 17, and Miami overcame a five-point deficit entering the fourth quarter against visiting Toronto.
KNICKS 92, MAVERICKS 80: Carmelo Anthony scored 15 of his 19 points in the first quarter to jump-start New York to a win at Dallas, which lost its fourth consecutive home game.
PACERS 82, CAVALIERS 78: Paul George scored 16 points, Roy Hibbert made a putback and two free throws in the final 1:09, and Indiana held off visiting Cleveland’s late rally.
The Pacers led by 16 in the fourth before Dion Waiters brought Cleveland back by scoring 12 points in a 16-1 run.
WARRIORS 112, WIZARDS 96: Klay Thompson scored 26 points and visiting Golden State used a 30-5 run in the third quarter to pull away for its ninth win in a row.
GRIZZLIES 112, PISTONS 84: Jon Leuer matched a career-high with 23 points, Zach Randolph had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Memphis dominated the second half as it handed Detroit its fifth loss in a row at home.
CLIPPERS; Chris Paul will be out of the lineup for up to six weeks because of a separated right shoulder, but the All-Star point guard won’t need surgery.
SPURS: Center Tiago Splitter will miss three to five weeks after spraining his right shoulder.