The Oklahoma City Thunder’s (33-19) seven-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon in Boston, as Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and dished out 11 assists to lead the Celtics (34-19) to the 134-129 victory. Paul George led all scorers with 37 points on 11-of-27 shooting, and Russell Westbrook posted 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 16 assists for his 19th triple-double the season. However, Boston hit a season-high 59.3 percent of their shots and forced a critical Westbrook turnover with 8.1 seconds remaining to end a frantic Thunder comeback attempt.
With George shooting just 1-of-6 in the fourth quarter, the Thunder found themselves in a 12-point hole with 4:56 remaining. Westbrook and Jerami Grant sparked the nearly-successful comeback attempt by shooting a combined 6-of-9 in the frame — including a corner 3-pointer from Grant that cut OKC’s deficit to one with 18.2 seconds remaining.
After Jayson Tatum split a pair of free throws to leave Boston’s lead at 130-128 with 16.2 seconds to play, it appeared as though OKC would at least get a chance to go for the win or send it to overtime. However, Irving was able to poke the ball loose from Westbrook on the ensuing possession, resulting in Boston free throws and effectively ending the game.
George led the Thunder with 37 points but struggled from the field, shooting 11-of-27 (5/16 3P) and hitting just 1-of-6 in the fourth quarter. He was joined in double-figures by Westbrook (22), Steven Adams (16), Dennis Schroder (16), Grant (15), and Terrance Ferguson (11). The team shot 14-of-35 (40%) from long range but missed nine free throws (four in the 4th).
Led by Irving’s 30, eight Celtics scored in double-figures. They routinely got whatever they wanted at the rim and had no issues with the OKC defense. Marcus Smart was particularly devastating, scoring 18 points on 4-of-9 shooting from long distance. Eleven of those points came in the third quarter, where he went 3-of-5 from three and helped put Boston back in front after a brief Thunder lead.