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Thunder Squanders Double-Digit Lead In Tragic Loss To Rockets

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Russell Westbrook tallied the most points with a triple-double in NBA playoff history, but it wasn’t enough as the Thunder squandered a 15-point lead in a 115-111 loss to the Rockets.

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Westbrook finished with 51 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists, but no other OKC players scored more than 12 points.

James Harden scored 35 points on only seven made field goals as the Rockets now hold a 2-0 series lead over the Thunder.

After a strong first half, the Thunder was in pretty good shape in the third quarter. Led by the scoring punch of Westbrook, the Thunder took an 86-74 lead after he drained a step-back 3-pointer. But even though he was scorching hot, Westbrook went to the bench at the 2:20 mark of the third quarter for a breather with his team up 12 points.

Without Westbrook in the game and Semaj Christon in his place, the Rockets feasted. Houston closed the quarter on a 12-3 run as Harden drilled a clutch 3-pointer to add fuel to the fire and bring the Rockets within three points.

With Billy Donovan inserting a suspect lineup to start the fourth quarter that included rookie Domantas Sabonis and little-used Kyle Singler, the Rockets used a 10-0 run with Harden on the bench to take their first lead of the game at 96-94.

The Thunder fought back to regain the lead at 100-99 after a fallback jumper from Westbrook, but OKC didn’t have enough firepower to keep up over the final six minutes of the game. Led by Harden, Eric Gordon and Patrick Beverley, Houston used a 10-0 run to go up 114-104 and never looked back.

Gordon scored 22 points off the bench for Houston while Lou Williams added 21 of his own.

Andre Roberson was OKC’s second leading scorer yet again with 12 points while Oladipo and Doug McDermott each added 11.

The Thunder and Rockets will battle it out in Game 3 on Friday night. 

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