Celtics capitalise on Thunder meltdown, Harden scores 42 points
The Oklahoma City Thunder only had themselves to blame for a 100-99 loss to a Kyrie Irving-less Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
A Marcus Morris three-pointer with less than two seconds capped an improbable comeback for the Celtics, who trailed by five points with 16.8 seconds remaining.
NBA teams were 884-0 this season when leading by five points with less than 20 seconds to play. Oklahoma City made that record 884-1.
In addition to Irving (knee), Jaylen Brown (concussion) and Marcus Smart (thumb) were also out for the Celtics. Jayson Tatum stepped up in their absence and showed why Boston took him so high in the draft.
Tatum finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds on eight-of-12 shooting. He led the way for the Celtics who also got 17 points and six rebounds off the bench from Greg Monroe and 21 from Morris in addition to his game-winning three-pointer.
Reigning MVP Russell Westbrook put up solid numbers for the Thunder with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, but his last-second shot could not give Oklahoma City a victory. Paul George added 24 points and 13 rebounds.
The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, edged the Portland Trail Blazers 115-111.
James Harden led the way with 42 points, while Chris Paul contributed 22 of his own for the visiting Rockets.
DAVIS DELIVERS FOR PELICANS
Anthony Davis had 37 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the New Orleans Pelicans' 115-105 win over the Dallas Mavericks. The win secured New Orleans a winning record for the first time since 2014-15.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 10 rebounds on 10-of-19 shooting in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 123-109 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.
RAPTORS WIN AGAIN BUT MILES STRUGGLES
C.J. Miles has been a key contributor for the Toronto Raptors this season, but he was not much help as he had just three points on one-of-nine shooting in a 93-86 win over the Orlando Magic.
SCHRODER SHINES IN HAWKS WIN
Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder found Mike Muscala for a three-pointer on a no-look pass in an upset 99-94 road win over the Utah Jazz. Schroder also finished with 41 points to become the first Hawks player to score at least 40 points since Joe Johnson in 2009. It was the longest active team drought without a 40-point scorer in the NBA.
MIKE x 3 pic.twitter.com/bD7wbxVuW7-- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 21, 2018
Toronto Raptors 93-96 Orlando Magic
Minnesota Timberwolves 123-109 Los Angeles Clippers
Boston Celtics 100-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
New Orleans Pelicans 115-105 Dallas Mavericks
Atlanta Hawks 99-94 Utah Jazz
Detroit Pistons 115-88 Phoenix Suns
Houston Rockets 115-111 Portland Trail Blazers
RAPTORS AT CAVS
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been playing with more confidence lately now that Kevin Love is back, but the Raptors have been the best team in the east the past three months.