January 25

NBA roundup: Thunder strikes Celtics

Undermanned Oklahoma City still beats Boston.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant missed his first game of the season and Serge Ibaka scored 21 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-83 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

click image to enlarge

Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass (30) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

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Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger wincesafter injuring a finger during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Boston, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Sullinger returned to play later in the quarter, with his fingers taped.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

It was the Western Conference-leading Thunder’s sixth straight victory.

Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to score 19 points, and former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins had nine rebounds for Oklahoma City. The Thunder were playing with neither Durant nor Westbrook for the first time since the franchise moved from Seattle in 2008.

Jeff Green scored 16 points and Gerald Wallace scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half before the Thunder pulled away with a 17-2 run in the third quarter. Rajon Rondo had eight assists and five points in his fifth game since returning from reconstructive knee surgery.

The Celtics have lost 13 of 15 games.

Durant had been scoring in bunches this month, with nine straight games of at least 30 points. But Coach Scott Brooks announced before the game that Durant would sit to rest his ailing right shoulder; Brooks said he didn’t know how long his star forward would be out.

“It’s the best thing for him,” Brooks said before the game. “Until he’s ready to play, he’s not going to play. Regardless of how he feels and what he wants to do.”

The Thunder allowed the Celtics to open a five-point lead early in the second quarter but then scored 18 of the next 22 points to take a nine-point lead.

It was a two-point game after Boston scored the first basket of the second half, but Oklahoma City opened a 60-53 lead and then scored 17 of the next 19 points.

In all, Oklahoma City outscored the Celtics 27-13 in the third.

CLIPPERS 112, BULLS 95: Blake Griffin had 26 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Clippers at Chicago.

Jamal Crawford added 19 points for the Clippers, who had six players score in double figures despite playing without injured guard Chris Paul.

GRIZZLIES 88, ROCKETS 87: Courtney Lee scored 19 points, Zach Randolph added 15 and Memphis held off host Houston.

It was the first win for Memphis over a Southwest Division opponent after it started the season 0-10 in the division.

NETS 107, MAVERICKS 106: Mirza Teletovic scored 24 of his 34 points in the second quarter, and Deron Wiliams had 18 points and 11 assists as host Brooklyn beat Dallas for its fourth straight win.

The Nets improved to an NBA- best 9-1 in January.

CAVALIERS 93, BUCKS 78: Anderson Varejao scored 16 points, and Kyrie Irving had 10 points and 10 assists, leading host Cleveland over Milwaukee.

Varejao scored eight points to spark a 12-2 run that gave Cleveland a 64-46 lead late in the third quarter. Irving, named an All-Star starter for the first time Thursday, had seven assists in the second half.

PELICANS 103, PISTONS 101: Eric Gordon’s driving layup with 1.9 seconds left gave New Orleans a victory at Detroit.

Detroit blew a 16-point third-quarter lead, and the Pistons inexplicably didn’t call time after Gordon’s winning shot.

Instead, Brandon Jennings rushed a shot from midcourt that missed while Coach Maurice Cheeks stood yelling for a timeout.

KNICKS 125, BOBCATS 96: Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high and franchise-record 62 points, most at the current Madison Square Garden, and New York beat Charlotte to stop a five-game losing streak.

MAGIC 114, LAKERS 105: Tobias Harris had 28 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to lift host Orlando over the obviously fatigued Los Angeles Lakers.

The Magic won for only the second time in 14 games.

RAPTORS 104, 76ERS 95: Kyle Lowry had 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds to help Toronto win at Philadelphia.

SPURS 105, HAWKS 79: Tim Duncan had 17 points and 16 rebounds in another dominant performance as San Antonio coasted in Atlanta.

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