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Thunder drop Celtics for fifth win in a row

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Kevin Durant had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook scored 15 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Boston Celtics 91-79 on Sunday to stretch their winning streak to five games.

The Thunder limited Boston to 25 percent shooting in the second half after the Celtics shot 51 percent in the first.

Oklahoma City used an 11-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter to close it out. The Celtics had pulled within 68-65 after three quarters before going without a basket for the first 5 minutes of the fourth, and they never could recover.

Paul Pierce had 20 points to lead Boston, which had its own run of five straight wins broken. Kevin Garnett chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Celtics were able to slow the Thunder from their best-in-the-NBA scoring pace of 107 points per game, but Oklahoma City's lowest output since Jan. 13 was still enough to come out ahead in this one.

Jeff Green had a right-handed, reverse dunk as Boston closed the third quarter with six straight points. But the Thunder answered right back to start the fourth. Backup point guard Reggie Jackson, who played at Boston College, got a running flip to go in and followed that with a double-clutch jumper from the right wing at the shot clock buzzer.

When Jackson missed a more conventional shot, Nick Collison grabbed the offensive rebound and found a cutting Kevin Martin for a layup that turned into a three-point play and a 79-67 lead with 8:36 remaining.

The Celtics finished at 38 percent shooting for the game with 19 turnovers, more than four above their average, while falling to 14-5 since All-Star Rajon Rondo's season-ending knee injury.

Martin added 12 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, which moved to 28-4 at home.

Notes: Green got a round of applause when he checked in midway through the first quarter, playing in Oklahoma City for the first time since being traded in February 2011. A few moments later, Jason Terry - a member of Dallas' 2011 championship team that beat the Thunder in the West finals - was booed, and he put his palms up, acknowledging the fans' grudge. ... The Celtics signed D.J. White to a second 10-day contract. Fellow reserve Shavlik Randolph is nearing the end of his 10-day deal. ``We've had so much change over the last three or four weeks with different guys, I just like the continuity now,'' Rivers said. ``I don't think there's anybody out there that's going to save the world. But both of those guys, I think, can help us in games.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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