Jackson, Durant lead Thunder over Celtics 119-96
- Article by: MURRAY EVANS
- Associated Press
- January 5, 2014 - 9:01 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY — Reggie Jackson scored a career-high 27 points, Kevin Durant added 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder halted their home-court swoon with a 119-96 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.
Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which had lost three of its previous four home games 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.
Jeff Green and Avery Bradley scored 19 points apiece for Boston, which has lost four straight games and seven of its last eight.
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 trailed again.
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.
Durant didn't record his first field goal until 5½ minutes into the second quarter, but still had 17 points by halftime thanks to 9-of-10 free throw shooting. He sat out the entire fourth quarter with the game in hand.
Jackson hit six of his first seven shots and was 3 of 3 from 3-point range while scoring 19 in the first half. He surpassed his previous career high of 23 points with 2:57 left in the third quarter, taking a pass from Durant and rising for a one-handed dunk. Jackson finished 9 of 12 from the field.
Ibaka followed with another slam moments later to put Oklahoma City ahead 89-68.
Jordan Crawford scored 17 points and Kris Humphries added 14 for the Celtics. Jeremy Lamb scored 13 points and Kendrick Perkins added a season-high 12 points to go with six rebounds for the Thunder.
NOTES: Westbrook spoke to the media before the game for the first time since his most recent arthroscopic knee surgery and says there's "never a doubt" that he won't be able to return to form. He's already off crutches and is shooting free throws, but says he doesn't know when he'll be able to return to the lineup. The team has said he'll be out through the All-Star break. . Before the game, Green — who began his career with the Thunder franchise before being traded to the Celtics — went over to the Oklahoma City bench to greet some of his former teammates. . Durant was called for a technical foul 71 seconds into the game for complaining about officiating. . Former Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo, fired by the team after a 1-12 start in the franchise's first season in Oklahoma City (2008-09), was a color commentator on the Celtics' television crew.
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