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Kevin Durant teases Boston crowd as Oklahoma City Thunder rout Celtics

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange   |   March 17, 2016 at 2:14 AM

BOSTON -- The TD Garden crowd tried to do some recruiting on Wednesday night, hoping to lure potential unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant to Boston.

The Oklahoma City star did little to make the locals feel otherwise.

Hearing chants of "Come to Boston" while shooting free throws, Durant, who earlier in the day said he liked Boston and the fans, scored 28 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed seven rebounds in just under 30 minutes to power the Thunder to a 130-109 blowout of the Celtics.

Because of injuries, Durant was playing his first game in Boston since 2012. He quickly reminded the fans of what they were missing, scoring seven points in the first 1:18 as his team never trailed in sending the Celtics to their third straight loss.

"I didn't even hear that, man," Durant said of the chant. "I couldn't understand what they were saying. They said that?"

Durant, playing against a Boston lineup without injured defender Jae Crowder, scored seven points in the first 1:18 and went on to total 28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, while teammate Russell Westbrook had 24 points, five assists and five rebounds in the win.

Westbrook sat out the entire fourth quarter and Durant sat for most of it as the Thunder won their second straight but only their eighth in the past 17 games.

"Defense," Westbrook said of the reason for the win. "I thought we did a good job of coming out, locking up and locking down where we needed to for 48 minutes."

The Thunder (46-22) never trailed, and they used a 42-point third quarter to break the game.

Oklahoma City led by as many as 29 points late in the third and by 30 in the fourth. The Celtics, with five little-used players and Tyler Zeller playing, cut the deficit in half, exciting what was left of the crowd.

The 88 points allowed through three quarters were the most surrendered by the Celtics at home since 1990, at the old Boston Garden. The 130 points allowed in the game were the most yielded by the Celtics in regulation since 2004.

"I thought we were going to have to play really well to have a chance to win. And we didn't," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

Oklahoma City, 7 of 45 from 3-point range in losing two straight prior to winning Monday night, were 12 of 29 from beyond the arc Wednesday, improving to 21 of 46 in the past two games.

Enes Kanter had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Serge Ibaka scored 14 points and Randy Foye added 13 for the Thunder.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics (39-29) with 29 points. Zeller scored 16, and Amir Johnson had 11 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Avery Bradley contributed 14 points, and Jared Sullinger finished with 12.

"Today was just, they punked us," said Thomas, refusing to use Crowder's absence as an excuse. "We played soft as tissue."

With three straight losses for the first time in two months, the Celtics now visit Toronto on Friday.

"It's the NBA," said Stevens. "Look around the league. Other than the Warriors and the Spurs, pretty much everybody's been through it. So that's why you never get too high and never get too low. You stay the course with what you're doing."

NOTES: Both teams got players back -- G Dion Waiters returning for the Thunder after missing four games due to the death of his brother, and F Kelly Olynyk was back for Boston after missing 12 games with a shoulder injury. Waiters scored five points, and Olynyk had eight. ... With Boston F Jae Crowder out with an ankle injury, G Marcus Smart again started as a forward in a three-guard offense. Smart missed all four 3-point attempts, leaving him 4 of 27 from 3-point range in the past six games. He scored two points Wednesday. ... After dealing with F Kevin Durant and G Russell Westbrook on Wednesday, the Celtics visit G DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. ... Westbrook had his 12th career triple-double of the year Monday night against Portland. The Thunder went on a 40-8 first-half run to blow the game open after losing the previous two games.

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