Durant-less Thunder rout Celtics
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Serge Ibaka led five Thunder scorers in double figures with 21 points as Oklahoma City routed the Boston Celtics 101-83 despite sitting MVP candidate Kevin Durant.
Durant, who has scored 30-plus points in nine straight games, injured his right shoulder in Wednesday's win over the Spurs. It was the first game in Thunder franchise history without Durant or Russell Westbrook in the lineup.
"Going into the game I knew they were going to accept the challenge," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "One of the things about our team, we play hard every night. We take pride in playing hard no matter who's on the floor."
Jeremy Lamb provided 19 points off the bench and Reggie Jackson tallied 14 points and eight assists in OKC's sixth straight win.
"We just moved the ball, we kept attacking, got a lot of open shots on ball movement," said Lamb.
Former Thunder forward Jeff Green paced Boston with 16 points while Rajon Rondo returned from a one-game rest and dished out a season-high eight assists.
"Collectively, we were not engaged defensively together," said Boston coach Brad Stevens.
Oklahoma City clamped down defensively in the middle two quarters, outscoring Boston 50-31 over that stretch while holding the hosts to just 12-of-39 shooting.
The Thunder led 50-46 at halftime and built a double-digit cushion in the early stages of the third. After a Brandon Bass layup made it 66-55 at 6:20, the Celtics missed eight shots in a row and found themselves down 22 points on Lamb's jumper with a minute left in the quarter.
Boston never made it competitive after that.
Earlier, the Celtics assisted on 10 of their 11 baskets in the first quarter. Rondo and Phil Pressey had four each, while Gerald Wallace went for eight points on just three shots to help Boston to a 28-27 lead after one.
Perry Jones made his third career start in Durant's place and scored 10 points ... Thabo Sefolosha had 13 points for the Thunder ... The Thunder improved to 10-6 all-time without Durant ... OKC has won six of seven over the Celtics ... Boston has lost 13 of its last 15 overall.
01/24 23:44:30 ET