The Oklahoma City Thunder struggled down the stretch in a 111-94 loss to the Boston Celtics Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder (19-26) allowed a 35-14 run over the final 12 minutes, leading to a second straight loss and spoiling a big night by center Moses Brown, who scored 21 points and tied a franchise record with 23 rebounds.
Brown became just the sixth player in Thunder history to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game, stepping up in the absence of veteran center Al Horford, who, following the Saturday trade deadline, agreed with the organization to sit out the remainder of the season.
The 21-year-old from UCLA joins Nick Collison, Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook, Enes Kanter, and Steven Adams in OKC’s 20-20 club.
Oklahoma City jumped out to a 52-47 lead in the first half, fueled by 40-percent shooting as well as 17 points and 19 rebounds from Brown. Luguentz Dort, who left the game in the second half and failed to return due to concussion-like symptoms, chipped in 10 points before the break.
The Celtics shot just 36% in the half, including a 3-for-20 mark from the three-point range.
Boston turned around offensively in the second half, started by a 12-for-21 run in the third quarter. The Celtics also went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc out of the break.
All-Star guard Jayson Tatum shined late, leading Boston with 13 of his game-high 27 points (11-for-27) down the stretch. OKC struggled, going 5-for-17 in the fourth quarter with five turnovers and just two three-point makes.
After Brown’s dominant first-half performance, the Thunder was held to just 18 rebounds in the second half. Boston grabbed 26. OKC also allowed 56 points in the paint, including 30 after halftime.
Theo Maledon chipped in 22 points (7-for-16), grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out four assists for the Thunder. Kennrich Williams scored 12. Jaylen Brown added 25 points (9-for-23) for the Celtics.
Oklahoma City continues its homestand Monday against the Dallas Mavericks (23-21). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. C.T.