BOSTON (AP) — Russell Westbrook had his 14th triple-double of the season and his third straight 40-point game, scoring 45 points with 11 assists and 11 rebounds on Friday night to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-112 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Westbrook missed his first five shots but scored the last seven points of the first half as the Thunder turned a three-point deficit into a four-point lead. He scored 18 in the fourth quarter, including eight straight during a 10-0 run that flipped a 104-100 deficit into a six-point lead.
Rookie Domantas Sabonis topped his career high by halftime and finished with 20 points for Oklahoma City, which had lost three of its previous five games. Enes Kanter had 20 points off the bench.
Isaiah Thomas had 34 points and 10 assists and Al Horford scored 23 points for Boston, which had won a season-high four straight games.
Westbrook didn’t make his first basket until 4 minutes into the second quarter. But he soon hit another layup, made a 3-pointer a few minutes later and really turned it on in the final minute of the half.
With 45 seconds left in the second quarter, Westbrook hit a 27-footer to tie the game 54-all and followed it with a layup to give the Thunder the lead. He closed out the half with two free throws, heading into the break with 16 points, nine assists and four rebounds.
The Celtics tied it 96-96 in the third when Thomas drove and converted a three-point play with about 7 minutes left. As he stepped to the line to take the free throw, the crowd chanted “M-V-P!”
Boston opened a 104-100 lead before Westbrook went off on another run.
After Jerami Grant’s dunk cut it to two points, Westbrook scored the next eight. In all, he scored Oklahoma City’s final 15 points over the last 3 minutes of the game.
Thunder: Coach Billy Donovan coached Horford at Florida. … Sabonis’ previous career-high was 15. He was 7 for 7 in the first half. … Anthony Morrow had a block in the fourth quarter that ricocheted off the referee and into the stands.
Celtics: led for all but 65 seconds in the first half. … Horford surpassed 20,000 minutes in his career. … Boston’s 17-13 record is the same after 30 games as last season.
Thunder: Host the Timberwolves on Sunday. Oklahoma City is 4-4 on Christmas Day and Minnesota will be making its debut on the holiday.
Celtics: Travel to the Knicks. Boston swept all four games against New York last season.