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Thunderstruck: Kevin Durant, Thunder have just enough to hold off Celtics

Posted By Mike Petraglia On March 10, 2013 @ 3:39 pm In General | 10 Comments

Kevin Durant [1] scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while former Boston College [2] star Reggie Jackson [3] hit a couple of key baskets off the bench as the Thunder ended the Celtics [4]‘ five-game winning streak with a 91-79 win Sunday afternoon at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Paul Pierce [5] led the Celtics with 20 points while Kevin Garnett [6] added 10. But Garnett, who hit four of his first eight shots, missed 10 in a row at one point, including his first eight of the second half as Boston fell short in their bid to sweep the Thunder, who improved to 47-16. The biggest difference in the game came at the free throw line, as the Thunder hit 27-of-33 shots while Boston attempted just 20, making 14.

The Celtics (34-28) hung in with No. 2 seed in the West, overcoming a pair of 10-0 runs by the Thunder in the first half to trail by just five points at halftime, 50-45. After shooting 51 percent in the first half, the Celtics went ice cold in the second half, making just 10-of-40 shots in the second half. They finished shooting just 37.7 percent (29-of-77) from the field.

The Celtics turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter, holding the Thunder to just 18 points and cutting Oklahoma City’s lead to three, 68-65, heading into the fourth quarter.

But the Celtics went ice cold to start the fourth. Oklahoma City opened on a 10-2 run, highlighted by a jumper by Jackson as the shot clock expired. He changed his shot in mid-air and double-pumped to connect.

The Celtics missed 15 of their first 17 shots of the quarter while the Thunder built their biggest lead, 87-73, on a Durant baseline jumper with 3:13 left. But the Celtics responded with six straight points to get the lead down to eight with 2:20 left. After a defensive stop, the Celtics appeared to get the ball back with 1:44 left and a chance to cut the lead even more. But a replay overturned a ball out of bounds off Jason Terry [7] and the Thunder got the ball back with a new shot clock.

The Celtics forced the Thunder to use all 24 seconds without allowing the Thunder to get a shot off. Jeff Green [8]‘s 3-point attempted rimmed out with 59 seconds left. The Thunder got the next basket with 37.4 seconds remaining on a layup by Serge Ibaka to put Thunder up, 89-79, and ice the game.

The Celtics are off Monday before taking on the Bobcats in Charlotte on Tuesday night.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics [9].


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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2013/03/10/thunderstruck-kevin-durant-thunder-have-just-enough-to-hold-off-celtics/

URLs in this post:

[1] Kevin Durant: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kevin-durant.htm

[2] Boston College: http://media.weei.com/ncaa/boston-college-eagles.htm

[3] Reggie Jackson: http://media.weei.com/basketball/reggie-jackson-boston-college.htm

[4] Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm

[5] Paul Pierce: http://media.weei.com/basketball/paul-pierce.htm

[6] Kevin Garnett: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kevin-garnett.htm

[7] Jason Terry: http://media.weei.com/basketball/jason-terry.htm

[8] Jeff Green: http://media.weei.com/basketball/jeff-green.htm

[9] weei.com/celtics: http://www.weei.com/celtics

[10] > Thunderstruck: Kevin Durant, Thunder have just enough to hold off Celtics" data-url="http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2013/03/10/thunderstruck-kevin-durant-thunder-have-just-enough-to-hold-off-celtics/">Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

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