HOU
OKC

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Nene's 28 lead Rockets past Thunder for 3-1 series lead

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) James Harden's shot was off, and one of the most unlikely players on Houston's roster came to the rescue.

Nene scored 28 points on perfect shooting from the field, and the Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The 6-foot-11 center from Brazil made all 12 of his shots and had 10 rebounds. It was an impressive performance from a reserve who averaged about nine points per game in the regular season.

''He puts the work in,'' Harden said. ''He's a true vet. He's in the weight room. He' doing all the proper things to get his body and his mind right to go out there and compete at a high level every single night. Tonight, it paid off.''

Harden finished with 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting, but he had other help, too. Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each scored 18 points, and Trevor Ariza finished with 14.

Houston can close out the series Tuesday at home.

''That's what a team is for,'' Harden said. ''It's not just one guy. I've believed in trusting these guys all year long. We say it every game that it's not going to be just one or two guys that win this game. On different nights, it's going to be different guys that step up. That was the case tonight.''

Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by halftime and finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. The Thunder said Westbrook joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to claim three consecutive playoff triple-doubles.

Steven Adams scored 18 points for Oklahoma City, and Victor Oladipo had 15.

The Thunder again struggled when Westbrook rested in the second half, and Westbrook wasn't interested in explaining why . He took over a question directed at Adams and defended the team.

''Don't split us up,'' Westbrook said. ''Don't try and split us up. Don't try to make us go against each other or make it `Russell and the rest of the guys, Russell against Houston.' I don't want to hear that. We're in this together. We play as a team. That's all that matters.''

Westbrook had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at the break. He grabbed the 10th rebound in the final second of the second quarter, and the Thunder led 58-54 at intermission. Meanwhile, Harden made just 2 of 9 shots and scored just six points in the first half.

The Thunder opened the second half with a 10-2 run, but Houston closed to 77-73 at the end of the third quarter.

Houston pulled ahead in the fourth, but Adams made the first of two free throws with 21.7 seconds remaining to cut Oklahoma City's deficit to four. He rebounded his missed second free throw and found Westbrook for a 3-pointer that cut Houston's lead to one point. But the Thunder lost track of Nene on the other end, and he converted a three-point play. Gordon's two free throws with 6.2 seconds remaining made it a four-point game.

STAT LINES

Westbrook continues to average a triple-double for the series - 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11.3 assists. But he is shooting 37.3 percent from the field. He went 10 for 28 on Sunday, including 5 for 17 in the second half.

HACK-A-'DRE

Houston fouled Andre Roberson in the fourth quarter, and he made just 2 of 8 free throws in a 42-second stretch. The Thunder trailed 94-92 when the Rockets started fouling him, and they trailed by five when he shot, and missed, his last attempt.

''It's not great for basketball, but it's a rule, and we'll take advantage of it,'' Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

QUOTABLE

Nene on the style of play: ''This series is a lot of physicality. It's a healthy physicality. There's no dirty players out there. We stick with it.''

TIP-INS

Rockets: G Patrick Beverley was fined $25,000 by the NBA for confronting a fan after Game 3. The league announced the fine about two hours before Game 4 tipped off.

Thunder: Westbrook had just one turnover in the first half. ... Adams went 6 for 6 from the field in the first half.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
J. Harden
13 SG
R. Westbrook
0 PG
34.7 Min. Per Game 34.7
31.6 Pts. Per Game 31.6
10.5 Ast. Per Game 10.5
10.7 Reb. Per Game 10.7
44.5 Field Goal % 42.3
41.9 Three Point % 40.9
85.1 Free Throw % 84.4
  Lost ball turnover on Russell Westbrook 0:03
+ 1 Eric Gordon made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:06
+ 1 Eric Gordon made 1st of 2 free throws 0:06
  Personal foul on Russell Westbrook 0:06
+ 2 Alex Abrines made tip-in 0:08
  Offensive rebound by Alex Abrines 0:08
  Russell Westbrook missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:10
+ 1 Nene made free throw 0:12
  Shooting foul on Jerami Grant 0:12
+ 2 Nene made layup, assist by Trevor Ariza 0:12
+ 3 Russell Westbrook made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Steven Adams 0:18
Points 113 109
Field Goals 37-85 (43.5%) 42-85 (49.4%)
3-Pointers 11-35 (31.4%) 7-19 (36.8%)
Free Throws 28-33 (84.8%) 18-32 (56.3%)
Total Rebounds 56 54
Offensive 13 10
Defensive 32 30
Team 11 14
Assists 19 20
Steals 13 10
Blocks 2 14
Turnovers 19 17
Fouls 26 20
Technicals 1 0
. Nene C 42
28 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
R. Westbrook PG 0
35 PTS, 14 REB, 14 AST
1234T
3 Rockets 3-1 22321940113
6 Thunder 1-326321932109
Team Stats
Rockets 3-1 107.7 PPG 42.9 RPG 19.5 APG
Thunder 1-3 104.2 PPG 43.6 RPG 19.8 APG
Key Players
. Nene C 10.0 PPG 4.7 RPG 0.6 APG 70.6 FG%
R. Westbrook PG 37.4 PPG 11.6 RPG 10.8 APG 38.8 FG%
Top Scorers
. Nene C 28 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
R. Westbrook PG 35 PTS 14 REB 14 AST
43.5 FG% 49.4
31.4 3PT FG% 36.8
84.8 FT% 56.3
Rockets
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Harden 39 16 7 8 1 0 7 3 5/16 0/7 6/7 0 7 33 0
T. Ariza 42 14 5 3 3 0 1 3 4/8 3/5 3/3 1 4 27 +2
R. Anderson 19 9 3 0 1 0 3 2 2/5 1/3 4/4 3 0 10 -9
P. Beverley 27 6 0 3 5 0 3 3 2/13 2/8 0/0 0 0 14 0
C. N'Dumba-Capela 17 4 5 1 0 0 2 2 2/5 0/0 0/0 1 4 9 -25
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Harden 39 16 7 8 1 0 7 3 5/16 0/7 6/7 0 7 33 0
T. Ariza 42 14 5 3 3 0 1 3 4/8 3/5 3/3 1 4 27 +2
R. Anderson 19 9 3 0 1 0 3 2 2/5 1/3 4/4 3 0 10 -9
P. Beverley 27 6 0 3 5 0 3 3 2/13 2/8 0/0 0 0 14 0
C. N'Dumba-Capela 17 4 5 1 0 0 2 2 2/5 0/0 0/0 1 4 9 -25
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
Nene 25 28 10 1 1 0 1 5 12/12 0/0 4/7 4 6 40 +24
E. Gordon 36 18 8 1 0 2 1 3 5/13 4/7 4/5 2 6 29 +18
L. Williams 31 18 7 2 2 0 1 5 5/13 1/5 7/7 2 5 30 +10
B. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Harrell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Dekker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Onuaku - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Taylor - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Wiltjer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 113 45 19 13 2 19 26 37/85 11/35 28/33 13 32 192 +20
Thunder
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 38 35 14 14 3 1 5 2 10/28 3/8 12/13 0 14 76 +14
S. Adams 36 18 7 2 1 3 2 1 8/10 0/0 2/5 4 3 31 +5
V. Oladipo 38 15 4 2 2 2 0 4 7/10 1/3 0/0 0 4 27 -1
A. Roberson 37 13 4 0 2 5 3 3 5/9 1/2 2/12 3 1 21 +1
T. Gibson 22 6 2 1 1 0 2 3 2/5 0/0 2/2 1 1 9 +1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 38 35 14 14 3 1 5 2 10/28 3/8 12/13 0 14 76 +14
S. Adams 36 18 7 2 1 3 2 1 8/10 0/0 2/5 4 3 31 +5
V. Oladipo 38 15 4 2 2 2 0 4 7/10 1/3 0/0 0 4 27 -1
A. Roberson 37 13 4 0 2 5 3 3 5/9 1/2 2/12 3 1 21 +1
T. Gibson 22 6 2 1 1 0 2 3 2/5 0/0 2/2 1 1 9 +1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Grant 14 10 3 0 0 0 1 3 5/5 0/0 0/0 1 2 12 -3
A. Abrines 15 5 2 1 0 0 0 1 2/4 1/2 0/0 1 1 9 -9
D. McDermott 19 5 1 0 1 1 1 0 2/6 1/3 0/0 0 1 7 -1
E. Kanter 7 2 2 0 0 1 1 1 1/5 0/0 0/0 0 2 4 -9
N. Cole 9 0 1 0 0 1 2 2 0/3 0/1 0/0 0 1 0 -18
K. Singler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Christon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Huestis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Sabonis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Collison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 109 40 20 10 14 17 20 42/85 7/19 18/32 10 30 196 -20