Boston streak ends, Westbrook shines as Thunder roll
The Boston Celtics’ 16-game winning streak came to an end with an upset defeat against the Miami Heat on Nov. 22 as Russell Westbrook won his duel with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City’s rout of Golden State.
Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters were the stars for Miami as the Heat claimed a 104-98 win in front of their home fans to stun Boston.
Dragic scored 27 points while Waiters added 26, including a crucial pair of late three-pointers, as the Heat held on the win.
“Those guys didn’t win 16 games for nothing,” Waiters said. “It was a battle.”
Miami improved to 8-9 with the win while Boston fell to 16-3. It was the first loss for the Celtics since they succumbed in the opening two games of the season.
In-form Celtics star Kyrie Irving meanwhile had an off-night by his recent standards, finishing with a relatively modest 23 points.
Irving missed all three of his three-point attempts and made only 11 of his 22 field goal attempts.
“Teams are coming out and giving us their best shots,” Irving said. “They made shots and got into a bit of a rhythm. You can tell they were locked into this game. They wanted it and proved it.”
Boston had trailed 63-79 at the end of the third quarter but stormed back to get within one point at 91-90 in the fourth.
However, back-to-back three-pointers from Waiters gave Miami a seven-point cushion which was good enough to see them home.
Elsewhere on Nov. 22, there was little Thanksgiving cheer on show in Oklahoma City as the Thunder gave former hero Durant and the Warriors a rough ride in front of their home fans.
Durant, who left the Thunder in 2016 in a blockbuster move, was subdued as former team-mate Westbrook piled on 34 points in a 108-91 win.
Durant’s entrance to the arena before the game was greeted with a hail of boos, and tensions almost threatened to boil over late in the game as Westbrook and Durant went forehead-to-forehead in a heated exchange.
Golden State were always chasing the game after trailing 65-48 at halftime.
Westbrook was backed with hefty performances from Carmelo Anthony with 22 points and Paul George with 20 points.
New Zealander Steven Adams had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds as OKC improved to 8-9.
Stephen Curry led the scoring for the Warriors (13-5) with 24 points. Durant finished with 21 points.