The Boston Celtics got back over .500 Friday night in a huge win in the TD Garden over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-100. The Celtics were down seven after the first quarter, but came back in the second and raced by in the third, taking a commanding 12-point lead going into fourth, and held off a Thunder comeback attempt.
Rajon Rondo had just 6 points, but he had 16 assists to continue his ridiculous streak of games with 10 or more dimes. Paul Pierce had a vintage game, scoring 27 points and hitting 4 three-pointers, and Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 9 rebounds, and was on the floor for much of the second and third period when the C's built their lead. Kevin Durant had 29 points and Russell Westbrook had 27-7-8 in the loss.
The Celtics' most prominent challenger in the Atlantic Division, the New York Knicks, were completely blown away by the Houston Rockets, 131-103. James Harden scored 33 and had 9 assists, Chandler Parsons scored a career-high 31 and Jeremy Lin, in his first game against his former team, had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Carmelo Anthony had 37 points on 14-24 shooting, but the bench, particularly the units with Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak on the floor, gave up way too many easy three-pointers. The Rockets shot 14-25 from deep, and they also went to the line 28 times — compared to the Knicks' 14 — and knocked down 25 of those attempts.
The Brooklyn Nets continued their run of impressive, low-scoring play after a sluggish start, beating the Clippers 86-76. In the Nets' last two games against the two L.A. teams, no one has even sniffed 100 points, and considering that the Nets were assumed to be among the league's worst defensive team before the season started, this is a huge surprise for everyone. Here are other scores from around the league: