BOSTON – With both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sitting out for the first time since the franchise set up shop in Oklahoma City, the Thunder needed about a half to figure things out.
And then the Western Conference leaders put the lottery-bound Boston Celtics away.
“We take pride in playing hard no matter who’s on the floor,” coach Scott Brooks said after his team went on a 17-2 third-quarter run to beat Boston 101-83 on Friday night. “Obviously, we’re a better team with Kevin and Russell. But it doesn’t make us not a team.”
Durant, the NBA scoring leader, missed his first game of the season, joining fellow All-Star Westbrook on the bench. That was only a minor setback, with Serge Ibaka scoring nine of his 21 points and adding five rebounds in the pivotal third quarter to lead Oklahoma City to its sixth straight win.
Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to score 19 points, and Reggie Jackson had 14 points and eight assists for the visitors.
“Everybody’s just got to do their job a little bit better and a little bit harder,” said Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, a former Celtic, who had nine rebounds. “It’s our first time playing without both of them, so it was good.”
Durant was the franchise’s first pick in 2007, its final year as the Seattle SuperSonics, and Westbrook was their first-round pick after the team moved to Oklahoma City for the following season. Together, they led the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals and were poised for another deep run last year before Westbrook was injured in the first-round series against Houston.
Oklahoma City has managed to stay atop the West with Westbrook out since Christmas to recover from right knee surgery. And Durant has been the reason, going on a scoring tear with at least 30 points in nine consecutive games before sitting out Friday night.
But Durant watched this one from the bench in warmups, then was icing his right shoulder in the locker room after the game, joking around with Westbrook.
“They’re a good team without him — as you can see,” Celtics guard Phil Pressey said.
Brooks said he did not know if his star would return on Saturday night against Philadelphia.
Grizzlies 88, Rockets 87
In Houston, Courtney Lee scored 19 points, Zach Randolph added 15 and Memphis held off the Rockets.
The victory ruined a spectacular night for Houston’s Chandler Parsons. He had a career-high 34 points and made 10 3-pointers — all in the second half. It is an NBA record for 3s in a half and a franchise record for 3s in a game.
Spurs 105, Hawks 79
In Atlanta, Tim Duncan had 17 points and 16 rebounds in another dominant performance against the short-handed Hawks and San Antonio coasted to a win.
Boris Diaw led the Spurs with 21 points.
Raptors 104, 76ers 95
In Philadelphia, Kyle Lowry had 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points to help Toronto beat the 76ers.
Magic 114, Lakers 105
In Orlando, Tobias Harris had 28 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to lift the Magic.
T-Wolves 121, Warriors 120
In Oakland, Minnesota’s Kevin Martin hit a step-back jumper with 8.4 seconds left.
Stephen Curry had 33 points and 15 assists for Golden State,
Pelicans 103, Pistons 101
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Eric Gordon’s driving layup with 1.9 seconds left lifted New Orleans.
Nets 107, Mavericks 106
In New York, Mirza Teletovic scored 24 of his 34 points in the second quarter and Deron Wiliams had 18 points and 11 assists as Brooklyn beat Dallas.
Clippers 112, Bulls 95
In Chicago, Blake Griffin had 26 points and 13 rebounds to lead Los Angeles to a victory over the Bulls.
Cavaliers 93, Bucks 78
In Cleveland, Anderson Varejao scored 16 points and Kyrie Irving had 10 points and 10 assists for the Cavaliers.
Wizards 101, Suns 95
In Phoenix, Trevor Ariza scored 23 points and Bradley Beal sank a pair of crucial shots down the stretch.
Pacers 116, Kings 111 (OT)
In Sacramento, Indiana’s Paul George scored eight of his 36 points in OT against the Kings.