Basketball / NBA

Kyrie Irving, Celtics get job done against Thunder in thriller

AP

Eight days after letting a win slip away against the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics were able to finish the job against another tough Western Conference opponent.

Kyrie Irving had 30 points and 11 assists as Boston overcame big games from Oklahoma City stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook to snap the Thunder’s seven-game win streak in a 134-129 thriller on Sunday.

Boston has won four straight since a 115-111 home loss to the Warriors on Jan. 26 and has won nine of its last 10 games overall.

“We battled against Golden State, but (this is) a good win,” said Al Horford, who had 17 points and nine assists. “This team has been playing really well and it’s just good to get this win here at home.”

Marcus Morris had 19 points, Marcus Smart added 18 and seven assists and Daniel Theis had 14 off the Celtics bench.

George scored 37 points and Russell Westbrook notched his sixth straight triple-double and 19th of the season with 22 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.

“We just played a good team,” George said. “I thought they made some big plays, big shots. Gotta live with it.”

Steven Adams and Dennis Schroeder each had 16 points for Oklahoma City, and Jerami Grant scored 15.

Oklahoma City suffered its first loss since a 138-128 overtime setback against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 17.

Westbrook made two free throws to pull Oklahoma City within 127-125 with 45.9 seconds remaining after Boston had led by six with 1:27 to go.

Irving’s driving finger-roll with 23.3 seconds left put Boston up by four, but Grant answered with a 3-pointer to bring the Thunder within 129-128.

Oklahoma City squandered a chance to take the lead after Jayson Tatum missed one of two free throws. Irving stripped Westbrook with 8.1 seconds on the clock and Horford got the ball back to Tatum, who sealed the win at the line.

“In a (tight) game like that, I’ve just got to take care of the ball, so that’s on me,” Westbrook said.

Irving said “instincts” led him to gamble on his steal of Westbrook.

“It’s winning time,” Irving said. “I feel like when the ball’s in my hand, I’ve just got to make the right play. Being down the stretch, just trying to make the right decisions.”

Raptors 121, Clippers 103

In Toronto, Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points, Serge Ibaka had 16 points and 12 rebounds and the Raptors beat Los Angeles for their 10th victory in their last 11 home games.

Ibaka has a career-best six straight double-doubles, Toronto’s longest streak since Chris Bosh had eight in November 2009. All-Star guard Kyle Lowry sat out because of a sore back.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the guard born in nearby Hamilton, had 19 points to lead Los Angeles.

Grizzlies 96, Knicks 84

In New York, Mike Conley scored 25 points, Marc Gasol had 24 and Memphis beat the Knicks to snap a nine-game road losing streak.

Conley added eight rebounds and seven assists after missing a game because of left knee soreness. Gasol also had nine rebounds. Kevin Knox scored 17 points for New York. The Knicks have lost 13 straight overall and 14 in a row at Madison Square Garden.