Thunder stuns Lakers late | NBA playoffs
Even down late, the Oklahoma City Thunder is showing it's never out. Kevin Durant scored 22 points and rattled in the go-ahead basket on...
OKLAHOMA CITY — Even down late, the Oklahoma City Thunder is showing it's never out.
Kevin Durant scored 22 points and rattled in the go-ahead basket on a baseline runner with 18 seconds left, and the Thunder scored the final nine points to rally for a 77-75 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City trailed by seven with two minutes left before surging back with a series of defensive stops by its stars to claw back from that deficit in the closing stages of a game for the second time this postseason. The Thunder was also down seven with 2 ½ minutes left in Game 1 against defending NBA champion Dallas in the first round.
"They won't quit. That's not in their DNA," coach Scott Brooks said. "They're not wired that way and if they were, they wouldn't be here. We're not going to win every game, but we're going to fight to the last second of the game and we did that tonight.
"If we would have gotten down on ourselves with two minutes to go, we would have lost by 12 and we would go to L.A. 1-1."
Instead, Oklahoma City takes a 2-0 lead into Game 3 on Friday night at Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum scored 20 points apiece for the Lakers, who came up empty on their last six possessions after Bynum's hook shot made it 75-68 with 2:09 remaining.
Steve Blake missed an open three-pointer from the right side with about five seconds left after Metta World Peace couldn't get the ball to Bryant on the inbounds play.
Celtics top 76ers
PHILADELPHIA — Kevin Garnett scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and used a dominant second quarter to help the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-91 to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Garnett scored 13 of Boston's 32 points in the second quarter and the Celtics became the first team to win by double digits. Game 1 and Game 2 were each decided by one point.
Rajon Rondo had 23 points and 14 assists for Boston. Paul Pierce, playing with a banged-up knee, had 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Game 4 is Friday in Philadelphia.
• Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was voted the NBA's Executive of the Year, becoming the first person to win that award, plus the MVP and Coach of the Year honors.
• The NBA fined Lakers forward Devin Ebanks ($25,000) and center Andrew Bynum ($15,000) for separate violations during the team's second-round series against Oklahoma City.