The Rockets shot over 68 percent from the field through three quarters as they got up big and held on for a 137-125 win over the Thunder on Sunday afternoon inside the Toyota Center.
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James Harden scored 22 points and dished out 12 assists as the Rockets basically had their way on offense throughout most of the game.
Not a good day to play the Rockets in a game of H-O-R-S-E #News9Thunder— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) March 26, 2017
Not a good day to play the Rockets in a game of H-O-R-S-E #News9Thunder
After Houston jumped out to a 9-0 lead while the Thunder missed its first five shots, OKC fought back to make it a competitive game for a quarter and a half, but things quickly went south.
Nene put the Rockets up double figures midway through the second quarter with a steal that led to a fastbreak score, but the biggest run didn’t come until four minutes later. Clint Capela got the Rockets rolling with a slam dunk before Harden and Sam Dekker each drained 3-pointers to put the Rockets up 63-44 with 4:22 left in the first half.
With the Rockets leading by 20 at halftime, the Thunder put together its best stretch to open the third quarter. Using his uncontainable aggression, Russell Westbrook fueled an 11-3 OKC run to bring the Thunder within 12 points. It looked like OKC switched into another gear and was ready to claw back, but the Rockets were having none of that.
Eric Gordon drained three 3-pointers in a span of just over two minutes as the Rockets went back up 18 points and led by as many as 25 points in the frame.
Thanks to Westbrook, the Thunder fought back to get within eight points with 1:32 left, but just like most of the game, OKC couldn’t get a stop when it needed it most as Houston held on for the win.
Westbrook notched his 36th triple-double of the season in the loss with 39 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, but some of his Thunder teammates couldn’t pull their own weight.
Triple-double No. 36 in the books.Russell Westbrook is just 5 triple-doubles away from tying Oscar Robertson's single-season record. pic.twitter.com/rTkAfJdmBP— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2017
Triple-double No. 36 in the books.Russell Westbrook is just 5 triple-doubles away from tying Oscar Robertson's single-season record. pic.twitter.com/rTkAfJdmBP
Steven Adams was horrific on defense throughout parts of the game and finished with 11 points and only four rebounds, while Andre Roberson and Victor Oladipo struggled to defend the perimeter at times. Oladipo played okay on offense with 15 points and four assists, but OKC’s most productive role player was Enes Kanter, who scored 23 points off the bench.
Lou Williams scored 31 points off the bench for Houston while Ariza and Gordon each tallied 24 points apiece.
The Thunder will be back in action on Monday night in Dallas at 7:30.