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NBA roundup — Dec. 22

Associated Press

Pacers 106, Celtics 79

Paul George scored 24 points and Lance Stephenson recorded his third triple-double of the season, leading the Indiana Pacers to a victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Stephenson had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Indiana (22-5) won its second straight and maintained its grip on the Eastern Conference’s best record. He’s the only player in the league with more than one triple-double this season.

Avery Bradley scored 13 points for Boston. Courtney Lee and Jeff Green each had 11 in coach Brad Stevens’ return to his hometown. Stevens grew up in Zionsville, an Indianapolis suburb, and led nearby Butler to back-to-back national championship games as the Bulldogs’ coach.

But there was no magic for the Celtics, who lost their third in a row.

Indiana took control of the game by closing the first quarter on a 10-2 run and pulled away with a 15-1 spurt midway through the second quarter.

Boston never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Stevens, a lifelong Pacers fan, received a warm welcome before his first game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since taking the Celtics job in July.

Raptors 104, Thunder 98

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, making two clinching free throws with 9.8 seconds left, and the Toronto Raptors handed the host Oklahoma City Thunder their first home loss.

The Raptors outscored Oklahoma City 6-0 in the final 1:25, all from the free-throw line, and ended the Thunder’s nine-game winning streak. Oklahoma City had been 13-0 at home, the NBA’s longest unbeaten stretch to open a season since the Cavaliers won their first 23 home games during the 2007-08 season.

Amir Johnson had 17 points and 13 assists for Toronto, which won its fourth straight road game, its longest such streak since March-April 2002. Oklahoma City lost for the first time since Dec. 4 at Portland.

Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 24 for Oklahoma City, which missed its final four shots.



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