Thunder Beat Rockets For Second Straight, Lose Eric Maynor To Injury
Grant Belcher, News9.com
HOUSTON – The Oklahoma City Thunder both achieved a win and suffered a loss on Saturday night.
Kevin Durant came through in the clutch once again for OKC in the final stretch of a tight 98-95 win against the Houston Rockets.
The game was the second of a back-to-back-to-back series and the second win in two nights against Houston.
On the flip side, Thunder guard Eric Maynor left the game early in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a serious right knee injury.
Maynor was driving to the bucket against Rockets guard Goran Dragic when his right knee appeared to buckle underneath him.
Maynor yelled in pain, clutching his right knee, and eventually had to be carried to the locker room by Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
The franchise has not released any further injury information for the guard at this point.
The good news for the Thunder was the big-time performance of Kevin Durant down the stretch.
Durant scored the final 13 points of the game for the Thunder, and he and James Harden combined to score 22 of the team's final 28 points.
Durant finished with 27 points and six rebounds. Russell Westbrook had a big game for OKC with 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting to go with six assists and four boards.
James Harden was his usual self off the bench with 16 points.
Big man Nazr Mohammed had perhaps his best game in a Thunder uniform, scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
Saturday's game was tight nearly the entire way, a big difference from the previous night's blowout in Oklahoma City.
The Rockets came out with more fire and aggression and made the Thunder work much harder for the win.
The game see-sawed several times in the first half, but Oklahoma City held two-point leads at both the quarter and the half.
With 2:38 to play in the third quarter, things looked a bit bleak as Houston went on a run, capped by a layup from Jordan Hill to give the Rockets a 12-point lead.
But Oklahoma City went on an absolute tear, outscoring the Rockets 12-0 over the final 2:15 of the quarter to tie it up heading into the fourth.
From there, Durant took over, scoring 13 points in the final 4:31 of the game to keep the Rockets at bay.
Fatigue could now become a factor for the Thunder, who are in the midst of three games in three nights and five games in six nights.
The third of those three straight games will come Sunday evening in OKC as the Thunder host the Spurs. Tipoff for that game is set for 6 p.m.