Westbrook’s triple-double leads Thunder past Rockets 115-113
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 32 points in a triple-double, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off the Houston Rockets 115-113 on Friday night to cut their deficit to 2-1 in the first-round Western Conference playoff series.
James Harden scored 44 points for Houston, but he missed a 3-pointer that could have won the game just before time expired.
Westbrook also had 13 rebounds and 11 assists. It was his second straight triple-double and the seventh playoff triple-double of his career. Taj Gibson added 20 points and Andre Roberson and Victor Oladipo each scored 12 for the Thunder, who shot 55 percent from the field.
The Thunder blew a double-digit lead in the second half of Game 2, and barely hung on this time. They host Game 4 on Sunday.
Lou Williams scored 22 points and Ryan Anderson added 18 for the Rockets.
The Thunder led 65-58 at halftime behind 62.2 percent shooting. Westbrook had 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds at the break, and he had more offensive help than in the previous two games.
Houston scored the first nine points of the second half, including six from Harden, to go up 67-65.
The Thunder regained momentum, and back-to-back 3-pointers by Roberson and Alex Abrines put the Thunder ahead 86-76 with 3:30 to play in the third quarter. Oklahoma City took a 93-83 lead into the fourth.
Houston closed the gap throughout the final period. Harden was fouled with 8.8 seconds left, and he made two free throws to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 114-113. Westbrook went to the line with 8.4 seconds to play and missed one of the two free throws, giving the Rockets a chance before Harden’s final miss.
Rockets: Harden had five assists and four turnovers in the first quarter. He had one assist the rest of the game. … Houston shot 50 percent in the first half but committed 10 turnovers, which led to 16 points for the Thunder. … G Patrick Beverley finished with one point on 0-for-6 shooting and fouled out.
Thunder: Oklahoma City opened the game with an 11-2 lead. … Gibson was called for a technical foul with 1:22 left in the first half. … G Semaj Christon, who played 21 minutes combined in the first two games, was inactive.
Game 4 will be played Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City.
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