Mon, Feb 11, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Thunder roar back to shock Rockets 113-112

AFP, LOS ANGELES

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, back, defends against Houston Rockets guard James Harden in their NBA game at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Saturday.

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY

Russell Westbrook matched the NBA record with a ninth straight triple-double and Paul George scored 15 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter on Saturday as the Oklahoma City Thunder roared back from a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets.

Westbrook had 21 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds. His ninth straight triple-double — reaching double figures in three key statistical categories — matched the record set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.

Westbrook connected on just eight of 21 shots from the field, but his effort was enough to help the Thunder to the win despite a 42-point performance from Rockets star James Harden.

“My game is not predicated on me making shots,” Westbrook said. “I do other things to impact the game. I do it every single night.”

Harden produced 30 points for the 29th straight game — two shy of Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in league history, but still a long way away from Chamberlain’s record stretch of 65 straight 30-point games.

Harden made 11 of 28 shots from the field and 14 of 15 free throws, but the streak took a backseat as the game evolved into a fourth-quarter dogfight.

The final period featured seven lead changes. Westbrook’s layup put Oklahoma City ahead 113-112 with 26.9 seconds left to play.

Harden then missed a three-point attempt, and George corralled the rebound and was fouled.

He made two free throws, but Houston turned over the ball and the Thunder held on for the win.

“We have to be consistent for four quarters,’’ Harden said. “It’s pretty simple.’’

The Rockets had appeared headed for a romp when they took a 70-48 lead into halftime, but they made just six of their 18 shots in the third period, including just one three-pointer.

“We had our chances, but we didn’t finish up,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We came out flat the second half for whatever reason.”

“We knew to get back into the game, we had to defend at a high level,’’ Westbrook said. “We got stops and won a big game on the road.”

In Saturday’s other games, it was:

‧ Raptors 104, Knicks 99

‧ Hornets 129, Hawks 120

‧ Jazz 125, Spurs 105

‧ Pacers 105, Cavaliers 90

‧ Wizards 134, Bulls 125

‧ Grizzlies 99, Pelicans 90

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