BOSTON (Reuters) - The Oklahoma City Thunder, without the NBA's leading scorer Kevin Durant through injury, stunned Boston 89-84 on Friday to hand the Celtics their first home loss of the season.
Kevin Durant missed the game after spraining his left ankle in the Thunder's win over Houston on Wednesday but his loss was not felt as Russell Westbrook played the lead role, scoring 31 points, including 11-of-13 from the free throw line.
The Thunder were also without forward Jeff Green, who has missed six of the last seven games also with a sprained left ankle.
"Everybody stepped up," said Westbrook. "That's kind of how it's going to have to be. Guys are down. Other guys are going to have to come in and be ready to play."
The Thunder (8-4) were efficient from the free-throw line converting 27 of 32 opportunities including 13-of 16 in the third quarter when they extended their 49-46 halftime lead to 10 points.
"Without their best players they knew they had to play their butts off or they'd get blown out," Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said. "They did that and ended up surprising. It was just one of those games."
Neither team scored a field goal in the final nine minutes and the game was decided by free throws. The Celtics cut the lead to just one point with one minute left but were unable to get the go ahead score in their final three possessions as the Thunder hit their final four free throws to secure the win.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Patrick Johnston)