Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

  • Houston's Nene Hilario is fouled by Oklahoma City's Domantas Sabonis on Wednesday. The Rockets won to take a 2-0 series lead. (Associated Press)

Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:00 am

NBA Playoffs

Rockets overcome 51 by Westbrook

Associated Press

HOUSTON – James Harden scored 35 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame 51 points from Russell Westbrook in the highest-scoring triple-double in playoff history, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-111 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Westbrook set a franchise playoff scoring record and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the sixth career playoff triple-double for Westbrook, who had an NBA-record 42 in the regular season.

But he shot just 4 for 18 in the fourth quarters as the Rockets clawed back from a double-digit deficit to surge ahead before holding on.

The game was tied before Houston scored 10 straight points with 3-pointers from Harden, Patrick Beverley and Eric Gordon to make it 114-104 with 1:22 remaining. Westbrook had four straight points to start a 7-1 run after that, but the Thunder wouldn't get any closer.

This was a much different game than the series opener, when Houston routed the Thunder 118-87. On Wednesday night, Houston trailed by as many as 15 and didn't take a lead until the fourth quarter.

The Rockets benefited from a balanced scoring attack, with Lou Williams adding 21, Gordon scoring 22 off the bench and Game 1 star Beverley chipping in 15.

The Rockets used a big run early in the fourth quarter to go on top for the first time in the game with about eight minutes remaining. Harden's 3 about three minutes later made it 104-100.

Andre Roberson added a tip-in layup for the Thunder before two free throws by Westbrook tied it at 104-all with about 3 minutes left.

Notes: Westbrook was just two rebounds shy of a triple-double by halftime with 22 points and 10 assists. ... Oklahoma City made just 7 of 30 3-pointers. ... Houston has won five in a row over Oklahoma City, including regular-season games. ... Harden made 18 of 20 free throws.

WIZARDS 109, HAWKS 101: In Washington, Bradley Beal took over in the fourth quarter with 16 of his 31 points, including a key late 3-pointer, helping Washington beat Atlanta in a rough, foul-filled game for a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

John Wall earned chants of “M-V-P!” while finishing with 32 points and nine assists, including the dish to Beal for his shot from beyond the arc with 38 seconds remaining that sealed the win.

Washington, which trailed 78-74 entering the final period, won despite only a combined seven points from starting forwards Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr., who were both in foul trouble early.

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

The Thunder led by three entering the fourth quarter and scored the first five points of the period, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Doug McDermott, to make it 94-86.

The Thunder led by seven with about nine minutes left in the third quarter before Westbrook made four quick points to extend the lead to 79-68. Houston scored the next six points, but Oklahoma City answered with seven points in a row after that, with five from Westbrook, to extend the lead to 86-74 with about 3 minutes left in the quarter.