Thunder Win Fourth-Straight With 119-104 Win Over Celtics
It's safe to say James Harden's left ankle sprain felt much better Wednesday night as he came off the bench to tally 17 points in the Thunder's 119-104 win over the Boston Celtics.
OKC's victory moved them to 26-7 on the season and ties them with Miami for the league's best record.
Harden came off the bench and immediately made his mark halting the 17-9 advantage Boston held midway through the first.
Harden's layup with 3:48 remaining in the first ignited a 14-2 run by OKC that gave them a 35-25 advantage entering the second quarter of play.
OKC saw exceptional shooting percentages going 8-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half along with 56.5 percent shooting from the field.
Unforced errors plagued the Celtics as they had 10 turnovers before the break. Boston shot 52.8 percent from the field in the first, but had only five transition points compared to OKC's 20.
Another major difference came in points of the bench as the Thunder netted 27 points while Boston had just four.
Four Thunder players managed double digits before the break. Durant led all scorers with 16 points while Harden tallied 15, Russell Westbrook 14 and Daequan Cook netted 13.
By halftime, Oklahoma City held a 72-49 advantage which set a new season-high for first half points scored for the Thunder.
Kevin Garnett led Boston in the first with 15 points and eight rebounds. The Celtics were without guard Rajon Rondo who was serving the final game of his two-game suspension for throwing a ball at an official. The Celtics also missed Brandon Bass, Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox who were all out with varying injuries.
In the third, Boston found itself down as many as 27 but managed to chip away at the lead over the last six minutes to trail 94-80 entering the fourth quarter.
The Celtics would come within six points in the fourth, but Durant sank a jumper with 2:46 left and netted four other points to seal the Thunder win.
Boston (15-17) shot 48.6 percent from the floor and 38.9 percent from 3-point range, but tallied 18 turnovers on the night.
Oklahoma City (26-7) out-rebounded the Celtics 43-32 and nabbed nine steals while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 47.4 percent from behind the arc.
Westbrook led all scorers with 31 points and six assists while Durant finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Harden and Cook each scored 17 points a piece while harden also tallied seven assists.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce each scored 23 for Boston who lost its fifth straight game.
The Thunder next faces the L.A. Lakers Thursday in an 8:30p.m. matchup at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.