The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

March 11, 2013

Thunder defense derails Celtics

NORMAN — OKLAHOMA CITY -- There are days when Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook will not have a good game. Very rarely is there a day when the Oklahoma City duo both have poor shooting performances at the same time.

That was the case Sunday afternoon when the Thunder hosted Boston. With both stars not having their normal high production days, Oklahoma City relied on its defense to pull out a 91-79 victory at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“Their defense was excellent,” Boston’s Jason Terry said. “They forced us out of our comfort zone and made us stagnant. They took us out of our game plan offensively. It’s something they must do if they want to get where they want to go, and that is to the finals.”

The loss stops Boston’s win streak at five games and evens the season series with Oklahoma City at 1-1. But the Celtics tried their best late to make Jeff Green’s return to Oklahoma City a good one.

Trailing by 14 with 2:45 left in the game, Boston tried to make one last run. Terry drained consecutive 3-pointers to cut the lead to 87-79 with 2:10 on the clock.

The Celtics (34-28) came up with another defensive stop and set Green up for a 3-pointer. But, with a defender flying at him, his shot was off the mark.

The Thunder (47-16) got the rebound and Russell Westbrook ran the clock down to 37 seconds before feeding Serge Ibaka for an easy layup that pushed the deficit back to 10 and sealed a Thunder victory.

“It was a good win,” Westbrook said. “It was a good team win. I think we did a good job of staying with it and we got the win.”

Durant led all scorers with 23 points on 6-for-16 shooting. That included not hitting a single 3-pointer in four attempts. Westbrook was held to 15 points (5-for-11) and managed only two assists. Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 12 points.

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