No triple-double, but Westbrook leads OKC past Celtics
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook's triple-double streak ended at seven games, but he scored 23 of his 37 points in the second half to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Boston Celtics 99-96 on Sunday night.
Westbrook had 12 rebounds, but just six assists. His triple-double run was the longest since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The NBA record is nine in a row by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.
Steven Adams scored 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting and Enes Kanter added 14 points for the Thunder, who have won seven of eight. Oklahoma City got away with making just 14 of 27 free throws.
Al Horford scored 19 points, and Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley each added 18 for the Celtics.
The Celtics controlled most of the first half and led 43-39 at halftime. It was Oklahoma City's lowest-scoring first half of the season.
The Celtics led by 13 in the third quarter, but the Thunder whittled their deficit to four by the end of the period.
Westbrook made a driving layup with 30.6 seconds left to give the Thunder a 96-94 lead. Westbrook then won a jump ball with Bradley to start a fast break, and Jerami Grant finished it with a dunk that put Oklahoma City up 98-94 with 14.4 seconds to play.
Marcus Smart scored in close for Boston to make it 98-96. Westbrook made the first of two free throws with 5.1 seconds left to leave the door open, but Smart's 3-pointer for the tie bounced away as time expired.
Celtics: G Isaiah Thomas missed his third straight game with a strained right groin. He averages 26 points per game. … Smart, who played college ball at Oklahoma State, got his eighth start of the season. He finished with 11 points, nine assists and six rebounds. … Crowder fouled out.
Thunder: Westbrook was issued a technical foul in the second quarter. … The Thunder missed their first 16 3-pointers and finished 3 for 21. … Coach Billy Donovan was called for a technical foul midway through the third quarter.
Thunder guard Victor Oladipo left the game for good after spraining his right wrist on a hard fall with 5.2 seconds left in the first quarter. He leaped to challenge a shot by Jonas Jerebko and fell onto Jerebko's shoulder and back on the way down, causing him to lose control of his landing.
The Celtics visit San Antonio on Wednesday.
The Thunder play at Portland on Tuesday.