Jackson, Durant lead Thunder over Celtics 119-96

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm •  Published: January 5, 2014
Advertisement
;

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — 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.

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 is 4-2 since All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook had arthroscopic knee surgery on Dec. 27.

A day after the Thunder narrowly avoided a three-game losing streak — rallying from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to win at Minnesota behind Durant's season-high 48-point effort — they seized control early against the Celtics, going on a 10-0 run in the first quarter and never trailing again.

"We just want to come in here and focus every time, especially after an emotional win last night," Durant said. "On the back-to-back, it might have been easy for us to relax, but I think we did a good job of playing hard."

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said the emphasis wasn't so much on winning at home, but instead eliminating the in-game lapses that led to the Thunder's 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 games and seven of its last eight.

Oklahoma City matched its season high for points in a half and led 66-56 at the break. The Thunder scored the first six points of the second half and the Celtics came no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

"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."



Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Bomb threat at Lexington Correctional facilities under investigation
  2. 2
    LeBron James returning to Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. 3
    North Korea Complains to UN About Seth Rogen Movie
  4. 4
    Toker Fired After Legally Smoking Pot Has His Job Back
  5. 5
    Here's How Famous Creative People Divided Their Days
+ show more