Durant-less Thunder thump Celtics, 101-83

Durant-less Thunder thump Celtics, 101-83
January 24, 2014, 9:45 pm
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BOSTON –  Even without Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder are a pretty good basketball team.

The Boston Celtics know this all too well after the Durant-less Thunder pulled away in the second half to hand Boston a 101-83 loss on Friday night.

Durant, who did not play due to a right shoulder injury suffered in the Thunder's win over San Antonio on Wednesday, spent the game cheering on his teammates who were more than capable of getting the job done in his absence.

Without Durant's NBA-leading 31 points per game, the Thunder turned to a slew of role players who without him, had an expanded role offensively.

Among them were a couple of local products in Boston College's Reggie Jackson and UConn's Jeremy Lamb who finished with 14 and 19 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Boston (15-30) once again failed to build off a victory with a strong repeat performance.

Jeff Green, who scored a career-high 39 points in Boston's overtime win at Washington on Wednesday, didn't come close to a repeat performance as he finished with a team-high 16 points.

Boston got off to a solid start, leading by as many as four points in the first quarter before taking a slim 28-27 lead into the second.

Gerald Wallace, starting at shooting guard in place of injured Avery Bradley (ankle), scored eight of his 13 points in the first quarter.

Boston quickly pushed its lead up to 32-27 following a long jumper by Green. From there, the Thunder struck back with an 18-4 run to take their biggest lead of the second quarter (45-36) before the Celtics chipped away at the deficit to where they were within 50-46 at the half.

Oklahoma City blew the game wide open as the Celtics fell flat at both ends of the floor and found themselves going into the fourth quarter facing a 77-59 deficit.

A three-point play by Brandon Bass brought Boston within 79-65 with 10:16 to play, but a Derek Fisher drained a 3-pointer and a long jumper to push the Thunder's lead back to a more comfortable margin (84-65).

Boston was able to chip away at Oklahoma City's lead, but their control of the game was never threatened again.