Thunder top Rockets without Westbrook for 7th straight win
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George scored 20 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 98-80 on Thursday night without point guard Russell Westbrook for their seventh straight victory.
Westbrook missed his second consecutive game with a sprained left ankle. George also had 11 rebounds, six assists and six steals. The Thunder were 0-4 before the streak.
Steven Adams had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrance Ferguson and Dennis Schroder each added 14 points for Oklahoma City. All five Thunder starters scored in double figures before the end of the third quarter.
James Harden scored 19 points, but made just 7 of 19 shots for the Rockets. Clint Capela added 17 points for Houston, which had won three in a row.
Houston's Carmelo Anthony, who played for the Thunder last season and was traded this summer, scored two points on 1-for-11 shooting. Chris Paul added 10 points.
The Thunder led 59-45 at halftime behind 53.8 percent shooting. In the second quarter, George made all five of his shots and scored 14 points. Oklahoma City held Paul and Anthony scoreless before the break.
Grant dunked on a lob from Schroder and made the free throw on the foul to put the Thunder up 80-60, a score that held up until the end of the third quarter.
Rockets: G Eric Gordon missed his third straight game with a strained muscle in his right thigh. ... Anthony was mostly cheered when he checked into the game for the first time in the first quarter. ... Reserves made 1 of 11 shots in the first half. ... Paul was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
Thunder: Ferguson, a 6-foot-7 guard, came out of nowhere to stuff 7-footer Isaiah Hartenstein in the first quarter. ... Made 27 of 44 shots inside the 3-point line but 9 of 37 beyond the arc.
Rockets: At San Antonio on Saturday night.
Thunder: At Dallas on Saturday night.