Westbrook’s vicious dunk seals Thunder win over Rockets
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 30 points, including a vicious left-handed hammer dunk over Clint Capela in the closing seconds, to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 105-103 on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City led by three when Westbrook dunked over the 6-foot-10 Capela with 5.5 seconds left to put the Thunder up five.
Westbrook, the league's No. 2 scorer, also had nine assists and seven rebounds. Victor Oladipo had season highs of 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
James Harden, the league's assist leader and No. 4 scorer, had 13 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. He made just 4 of 16 shots while being harassed by Andre Roberson. Capela added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets.
Oklahoma City led 65-63 at halftime as Westbrook had 20 points and Oladipo 17. The shot 61 percent before the break. The Rockets' offense worked, despite just five points from Harden on 1-for-6 shooting.
The Rockets started strong after the break, and a 14-5 binge put Houston up 77-70 and led to an Oklahoma City timeout. The Rockets stretched their lead to 13, but the Thunder pulled to 90-85 by the end of the period.
Oladipo's 3-pointer with just under three minutes to play tied the score at 100, then Roberson's alley-oop dunk on a lob from Westbrook finally put the Thunder ahead.
Westbrook made a free throw to extend Oklahoma City's lead to three with 28 seconds remaining. Houston missed an opportunity when Harden and Trevor Ariza failed to connect while Ariza was open in the corner, and Westbrook's dunk over Capela put the game out of reach.
Rockets: G Patrick Beverley, one of Oklahoma City fans' most hated players, was out with a left knee irritation. He hasn't played this season. … Eric Gordon shot 5 for 20 from the field and scored 13 points.
Thunder: It was the second straight home game the Thunder faced a core member of its team that reached the 2012 NBA Finals. Serge Ibaka scored 31 points and made the game-winner for Orlando on Sunday. … The Thunder shot 75 percent in the first quarter to lead 38-32. … Oklahoma City made 13 of 14 free throws.
Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who is starting to gain traction as a Heisman candidate, attended the game. He has 68 catches this season for 1,254 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games. The eighth-ranked Sooners will play at No. 10 West Virginia on Saturday.
Rockets: Host Portland on Thursday night.
Thunder: Host Brooklyn on Friday night.