OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 36 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat Boston 122-118 on Wednesday night, snapping the Celtics’ five-game winning streak.
Westbrook, the NBA’s leading scorer, also had 10 assists, five rebounds and five steals. Enes Kanter had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Morrow added 20 points for Oklahoma City, which moved a half-game ahead of New Orleans in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Marcus Smart, who played college ball at Oklahoma State, led Boston with a career-high 25 points. Kelly Olynyk and Brandon Bass each added 20 points for the Celtics.
Boston shot 64 percent in the first half, the highest percentage the Thunder have allowed in a half this season. Oklahoma City held the Celtics to 42 percent shooting after the break.
Boston led 57-53 at halftime. Smart scored 14 points and Tyler Zeller added 12 before the break, while Westbrook scored 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting.
The Thunder went on a 13-0 run midway through the third quarter that included eight points from Westbrook to take a 79-70 lead.
A steal and dunk by Westbrook put the Thunder ahead 88-80, and Oklahoma City led 93-81 heading into the fourth. Westbrook scored 15 points in the third, and Kanter added 10. The Thunder held the Celtics to 9-for-24 shooting in the period.
Smart’s 3-pointer trimmed Oklahoma City’s lead to 108-100 with just under three minutes to play, and Olynyk followed with a 3 to make it a five-point game.
Westbrook made his first basket of the fourth quarter, a long 2-pointer, to push the lead back out to nine with 1:13 to play. The Thunder held on as Westbrook went 8 of 8 on free throws in the final minute, despite leaving the game for 22 seconds because he took a hit to the face.
Celtics: G Isaiah Thomas sat out with a bruised lower back. … F Evan Turner had four assists in the first quarter and 10 in the game. … F Jonas Jerebko’s 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer was called good, then reviewed and taken off the board.
Thunder: Oklahoma City learned Tuesday it would be without F Serge Ibaka indefinitely after he had a procedure on his right knee. … Thunder F Kevin Durant is still day to day with soreness in his right foot. … Oklahoma City improved to 24-9 at home.
Celtics: At San Antonio on Friday.
Thunder: Host Atlanta on Friday.
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