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Rockets advance with 105-99 win over Thunder

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden had 34 points and his supporting cast helped the Houston Rockets overcome a 47-point game by Russell Westbrook to get a 105-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

The Thunder head home a year after advancing to the Western Conference finals after Houston took this series 4-1.

The Rockets used a 5-1 run, with all their points coming on free throws, to pull away from the Thunder and make it 98-91. Victor Oladipo threw a pass about 5 feet above Westbrook's head and out of bounds on the next possession and Harden made a layup on the other end with about 3 minutes left.

The Rockets began eating up the clock after that and Oklahoma City missed shot after shot that could have closed the gap.

Houston couldn't add to its lead though and the Thunder cut it to 4 points twice in the final seconds, with the second one coming on a basket by Alex Abrines. But Harden made two free throws both times they got close to secure the win.

After scoring 20 points in the third quarter, Westbrook made just 2 of 11 fourth-quarter shots in a disappointing end to a stellar season where he became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double by scoring an NBA-best 31.6 points a game, with 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. He also set an NBA record for most triple-doubles with 42 to help the Thunder withstand the loss of All-Star Kevin Durant in free agency.

He had 11 rebounds and nine assists to come just shy of his fourth straight triple-double in this series, but he made just 5 of a career-high 18 3-point attempts.

Lou Williams added 22 points and Patrick Beverley had 15 to help the Rockets get out of the first round for the second time in three seasons in front of a crowd that included Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, rapper Travis Scott and his rumored girlfriend and reality star Kylie Jenner.

The Thunder had a five-point lead entering the fourth quarter and led by 3 after a jump shot by Jerami Grant early in the quarter. The Rockets then used a 10-2 run to take an 86-81 lead with about 9 minutes left. Williams made the last eight points in that stretch, making three free throws to start it and capping it with a 3-pointer from way behind the line.

Houston was up by 6 early in the third quarter before using a 7-2 spurt to make it 61-50 with about 7 minutes left in the quarter. Harden got things going in that span and Beverley capped it with four straight points.

The Thunder started rolling after that, using a 12-3 run, with seven points from Westbrook, to get within 2 with about 5 minutes left in the quarter. Houston's offense went cold in that span with its only points coming on free throws by Harden.

Five straight points by the Thunder a couple of minutes later, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Westbrook, gave the Thunder a 69-68 lead.

Harden made two free throws after that before Westbrook hit two 3-pointers in about 30 seconds to extend Oklahoma City's lead to 77-70.

The Rockets were unhappy with a few calls in the first quarter and team owner Leslie Alexander got up from his courtside seat and walked over to a referee during play late in the quarter apparently to express his displeasure before sitting back down.

Houston led 51-44 at halftime.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Led by as many as 8 points early. ... Oladipo had 10 points and eight rebounds. ... Abrines had 11 points. ... Westbrook received a technical for arguing with Beverley in the fourth.

Rockets: Made just 1 of 13 3-point attempts in the third quarter. ... Williams has scored at least 20 points in three of the last four games. ... Houston made just 6 of 37 3-point attempts overall. ... Beverley received a technical for arguing with Westbrook in the fourth. ... Harden made 16 of 17 free throw attempts.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Will face either Memphis or San Antonio in the second round.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by James Harden 0:00
  Alex Abrines missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:02
+ 1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:05
+ 1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 0:05
  Personal foul on Doug McDermott 0:05
+ 1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 0:05
+ 2 Alex Abrines made turnaround jump shot, assist by Doug McDermott 0:06
+ 1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:08
+ 1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 0:08
  Personal foul on Victor Oladipo 0:08
  Defensive rebound by Eric Gordon 0:13
Points 99 105
Field Goals 35-91 (38.5%) 33-82 (40.2%)
3-Pointers 10-38 (26.3%) 6-37 (16.2%)
Free Throws 19-29 (65.5%) 33-39 (84.6%)
Total Rebounds 61 60
Offensive 18 10
Defensive 31 37
Team 12 13
Assists 16 13
Steals 7 7
Blocks 7 6
Turnovers 13 12
Fouls 27 23
Technicals 1 1
away team logo
R. Westbrook PG 0
47 PTS, 11 REB, 9 AST
home team logo
J. Harden SG 13
34 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST
1234T
away team logo6 Thunder 1-4 2222332299
home team logo3 Rockets 4-116352133105
Team Stats
away team logoThunder 1-4 104.2 PPG 43.6 RPG 19.8 APG
home team logoRockets 4-1 107.7 PPG 42.9 RPG 19.5 APG
Key Players
R. Westbrook PG 37.4 PPG 11.6 RPG 10.8 APG 38.8 FG%
J. Harden SG 28.5 PPG 5.5 RPG 8.5 APG 41.3 FG%
Top Scorers
R. Westbrook PG 47 PTS 11 REB 9 AST
J. Harden SG 34 PTS 8 REB 4 AST
38.5 FG% 40.2
26.3 3PT FG% 16.2
65.5 FT% 84.6
Thunder
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 41 47 11 9 0 0 7 5 15/34 5/18 12/17 5 6 69 +12
T. Gibson 24 10 8 0 0 0 1 3 4/7 0/0 2/2 1 7 17 +13
V. Oladipo 33 10 6 0 1 0 2 3 4/17 2/6 0/0 0 6 15 -2
S. Adams 39 7 9 1 2 4 1 4 3/4 0/0 1/2 6 3 23 +10
A. Roberson 37 3 5 4 4 3 2 5 1/7 0/3 1/4 3 2 21 +4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 41 47 11 9 0 0 7 5 15/34 5/18 12/17 5 6 69 +12
T. Gibson 24 10 8 0 0 0 1 3 4/7 0/0 2/2 1 7 17 +13
V. Oladipo 33 10 6 0 1 0 2 3 4/17 2/6 0/0 0 6 15 -2
S. Adams 39 7 9 1 2 4 1 4 3/4 0/0 1/2 6 3 23 +10
A. Roberson 37 3 5 4 4 3 2 5 1/7 0/3 1/4 3 2 21 +4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Abrines 22 11 3 0 0 0 0 4 4/11 2/7 1/2 0 3 14 -23
J. Grant 23 11 5 1 0 0 0 0 4/8 1/3 2/2 3 2 18 -24
N. Cole 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -2
E. Kanter 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -6
D. McDermott 13 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 2 4 -12
K. Singler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Christon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Huestis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Sabonis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Collison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 99 49 16 7 7 13 27 35/91 10/38 19/29 18 31 181 -30
Rockets
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Harden 37 34 8 4 3 2 5 4 8/25 2/13 16/17 1 7 50 -6
P. Beverley 26 15 8 3 1 0 2 4 6/10 1/1 2/2 5 3 28 +10
C. N'Dumba-Capela 22 8 9 0 1 4 1 3 2/3 0/0 4/6 3 6 21 +7
R. Anderson 23 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 1/6 0/3 0/0 0 2 6 +11
T. Ariza 35 2 2 2 0 0 0 5 1/6 0/5 0/0 1 1 8 -8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Harden 37 34 8 4 3 2 5 4 8/25 2/13 16/17 1 7 50 -6
P. Beverley 26 15 8 3 1 0 2 4 6/10 1/1 2/2 5 3 28 +10
C. N'Dumba-Capela 22 8 9 0 1 4 1 3 2/3 0/0 4/6 3 6 21 +7
R. Anderson 23 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 1/6 0/3 0/0 0 2 6 +11
T. Ariza 35 2 2 2 0 0 0 5 1/6 0/5 0/0 1 1 8 -8
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Williams 33 22 5 1 1 0 1 1 7/14 2/6 6/6 0 5 29 +16
Nene 25 14 7 0 1 0 3 3 5/8 0/1 4/6 0 7 19 -1
E. Gordon 35 8 6 2 0 0 0 2 3/10 1/8 1/2 0 6 18 +1
B. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Harrell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Dekker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Onuaku - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Taylor - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Wiltjer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 105 47 13 7 6 12 23 33/82 6/37 33/39 10 37 179 +30