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WEEI » This Just In » Low-5: Durant sends C's to another loss
Mon, 01/16/2012 - 11:26pm  

Low-5: Durant sends C's to another loss

Kevin Durant, with 28, and Russell Westbrook, with 26, combined for 54 points as the Thunder handed the Celtics their fifth straight loss, 97-88, Monday night at TD Garden. It's the first five-game skid in the "Big 3" era and the longest for the Celtics since a seven-game streak late in the 2006-07 season, the same year Boston lost a franchise-worst 18 straight. Kendrick Perkins, who received several ovations from the Boston crowd in his return, got into early foul trouble and finished with seven points and five rebounds in 28 minutes. 

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points while Kevin Garnett (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Jermaine O'Neal (12,11) each had double-doubles on the night. 

The Thunder closed out the third quarter on a 15-5 run to take a 72-62 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Celtics made a run when Mickael Pietrus hit a 3-pointer from the left baseline with 7:34 left to close the lead to 74-69. 

After Pierce hit a 3-pointer with 5:22 left to cut the lead to two, 78-76, Oklahoma City missed a shot and Rajon Rondo came down the court with a chance to tie but lost control of the ball and committed a foul. On the ensuing possession, Durant drained a three with 4:42 left to push the lead back to five. He then slammed a thundering dunk with just over four minutes remaining to keep the Celtics two possessions away.

Mickael Pietrus hit a three with 2:28 left to cut the lead to three, 83-80. But Thabo Sefalosha countered with a trey with just over two minutes. left. Westbrook hit another three with 1:31 left to push the Thunder lead to seven. Pietrus hit another three with 1:13 left to close the lead back to four, 89-85. Westbrook drained another three with 51.1 seconds remaining and broke out his patented gun-slinger celebration, sending the crowd to the exits. The Thunder hit five straight threes after starting the game just 2-for-14 from long range.

The Celtics play the second of their three-game homestand on Wednesday when they host the Toronto Raptors at the Garden. The homestand ends on Friday with a game against the Suns. For more, visit the Celtics team page at and the Green Street blog. 

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