Thunder takes advantage as Mavs' starters take break
OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant had 29 points and 10 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder, helped when Dallas sat out its usual starters, beat the Mavericks 108-89 Wednesday night.
Thunder star Russell Westbrook was ejected in the second quarter after getting his second technical foul following skirmishes with J.J. Barea. Westbrook went scoreless, but had eight assists and seven rebounds in 14 minutes.
With the Mavericks on the second night of a back-to-back after an overtime loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle chose not to play his five regular starters —Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons, Deron Williams and Zaza Pachulia.
Serge Ibaka posted his fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder. It is 13-1 this season at home against Western teams.
•STREAK SNAPPED: Isaiah Thomas scored 28 points, Jae Crowder matched his career high with 25 and the Boston Celtics stopped a four-game losing streak with a 103-94 win over the Indiana Pacers. Amir Johnson had a season-high 18 rebounds and scored 14 points for the Celtics, who beat the Pacers for the first time this season after losing the first two meetings. Paul George led Indiana 23 points. George Hill had 13 and Monta Ellis 12. Boston closed with a 12-0 run over the final 1:46. The Pacers led 94-91 with just more than 2 minutes to play before they turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, leading to a pair of breakaway dunks by Boston. The first was by Johnson and the second by Marcus Smart, giving the Celtics the lead with 1:32 to play.
•NETS BREAKTHROUGH: Brook Lopez scored 20 points, Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Brooklyn ended its 10-game home losing streak with a 110-104 victory over the Knicks. The Nets also ended a five-game overall skid with their first victory under interim coach Tony Brown, who took over when coach Lionel Hollins was fired and General Manager Billy King was reassigned Sunday. Joe Johnson made two key jumpers in the final two minutes and finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Nets in their first home victory since beating Philadelphia on Dec. 10. Derrick Williams tied his career high with 31 points for the Knicks, who played without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony (sprained right ankle) and had their two-game winning streak snapped.
•WELCOME BACK: John Wall scored 19 points and backcourt mate Bradley Beal had 11 in his return from injury to help the host Wizards beat the Bucks 106-101. Beal came off the bench and played 22 minutes in his first game since Dec. 9. He had been sidelined with a stress reaction in his lower right leg. Ramon Sessions added 15 points and Jared Dudley had 13 for Washington, including two late three-pointers to help preserve a third straight win. Khris Middleton scored 25 points to lead Milwaukee, which allowed 36 points off a season-high 27 turnovers in its fourth loss in the last six games. Greg Monroe added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks, who erased a 19-point second-quarter deficit to take the lead by the end of the third. Milwaukee got within three in the final moments before Beal hit a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds to play. Washington trailed 74-71 after three quarters before opening the fourth on a 22-6 run.
•COASTIN': Kemba Walker scored 23 points and the host Hornets pulled away in the second half to beat the Hawks 107-84 and stop a seven-game losing streak. The Hornets led by as many as 35 points.
•NO LONGER IRON MAN: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was scratched against Miami because of pneumonia, ending the NBA's longest active consecutive games streak at 360. Jordan last missed a game on March 23, 2011.