Kevin Durant's ability to get to the free-throw line in last season's win at Boston drew some harsh words from Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. Durant had another big game in losing to the Celtics earlier this month.
The league's leading scorer returns to Boston as the Thunder try to end the Celtics' 5-0 home start Friday night.
When the Thunder snapped a six-game losing streak to the Celtics on March 31, Durant led the way with 37 points and made all 15 free throws. Boston went 13 for 17 from the line.
"I thought we were playing Michael (expletive) Jordan the way he was getting the whistle," said Garnett after the game. "Durant damn near shot more free throws than our whole team."
Boston withstood a 34-point performance from Durant, who tops the NBA with 28.0 per game, to earn a 92-83 road victory Nov. 7. Garnett was a non-factor with eight points and eight rebounds, and the Celtics used a 37-point effort from their bench to overcome his lack of production.
Durant is averaging 35.7 points in his last three games against the Celtics after averaging 19.8 in his first four.
"The fact that I think he's seven feet tall and shoots the ball the way he shoots the ball, it makes him a (tough) matchup," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "Seven-foot players who can shoot the way he can shoot and not move are very good players in our league. But he can move and shoot and he's seven feet tall."
Both teams cruised to home victories Wednesday in which the coaches were able to give their regulars plenty of rest.
The Celtics (9-2) beat Washington 114-83 for their most lopsided win of the season. Except for Shaquille O'Neal, who's coming back from injuries, all of the starters played a season low in minutes.
Paul Pierce had 23 points, Garnett scored 18 and Rajon Rondo had 12 points with 13 assists in just over 30 minutes before sitting out the fourth quarter. Rondo is averaging a league-leading 14.9 assists.
The Celtics last opened 6-0 at home when they won their first 12 in 2007-08.
"We've played well at home, and we've played better at the end of games this year," Rivers said. "There's no doubt about that."
Oklahoma City (7-4) won 116-99 over Houston as Durant scored 24 points in three quarters and Russell Westbrook had 21 points and 12 assists. Durant logged fewer than 30 minutes for the first time this season.
"Kevin loves to play. He loves to play and he wants to play," coach Scott Brooks said. "Tonight, he looked at me a few times but we had a decent lead. ... We've got some guys that have been out for a while, so the minutes have been up for KD. He can handle a few extra minutes here and there, but it's good to get him going into the fourth quarter where he doesn't have to come up big for us."
Westbrook had 16 points, 10 assists and eight turnovers earlier this month against Boston while Rondo had 10 points and 10 assists.