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HOU

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George, Westbrook rally Thunder past Rockets, 117-112

HOUSTON (AP) Paul George said it took a fiery halftime discussion to help the Oklahoma City Thunder overcome the largest deficit they've seen all season.

''We just knew we had to have a better second half,'' George said. ''Being down that much at the half, that's not the team we are. We know this team very well and we knew that wasn't us. So we had to come in here and talk and just light a fire under this team and we did that.''

George scored 45 points, Russell Westbrook matched the NBA record with his ninth straight triple-double and Oklahoma City overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 117-112 on Saturday night.

It was Oklahoma City's largest comeback victory.

''We just never got into any flow, but then I thought once we got some stops, we got out in transition,'' Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. ''Obviously, Paul with what he did tonight was phenomenal, the way he played. And he was on (James) Harden a lot. He was unbelievable tonight on both ends of the floor.''

Defensively, George fought through screens in the final minute to stay on Harden.

''I look forward to playing against the best,'' George said. ''That's how I was taught the game -- just enjoy matchups and have fun with it.''

Westbrook had 21 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds to match the record streak set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1968. Westbrook has 22 triple-doubles this season and 126 overall. He also had 10 turnovers and was 8 of 21 from the field.

''It's really incredible,'' Donovan said. ''It took whatever it was, 60 years, until somebody did it just to show you how hard it is to do and how unique of a player he is to be able to do it.''

Harden led the Rockets with 42 points, reaching 30 points for the 29th straight game - two shy of Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in NBA history, but far behind Chamberlain's record run of 65 games. Harden was 11 for 28 from the field, going 6 of 16 from 3-point range, and made 14 of 15 free throws.

The 26-point deficit was Oklahoma City's largest of the season.

Westbrook gave the Thunder a one-point lead with a driving layup with 26.9 seconds remaining. On the following possession, Harden missed a 3-pointer, and George got the rebound and was fouled with 3.4 seconds left. He made both free throws put Oklahoma City up three. Houston turned it over on the following inbound play.

George made 12 of 22 shots, hit 6 of 14 3-pointers and made 15 of 18 free throws to finish four points shy of his career-high 49 points set in 2013 with Indiana.

The Thunder made seven of their first eight shots in the third quarter to quickly cut Houston's lead in half. Oklahoma City outscored Houston 42-20 in the quarter to even the score at 90.

''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.''

Oklahoma City fell into a deep hole in the first half following a sizzling second quarter from the Rockets. After dominating Sacramento 44-17 in the second quarter of a 127-101 win in their previous game on Wednesday night, the Rockets outscored the Thunder 42-23 on Saturday night.

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

Houston had won seven of eight home games against Oklahoma City.

''They're a good team and they played well,'' Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. ''We had our chances. We just didn't finish off. We came out flat the second half for whatever reason. Maybe being up 22 did it, I don't know.''

Dennis Schroder had 17 points off the bench for Oklahoma City.

Iman Shumpert, acquired by Houston from Sacramento ahead of the trade deadline, made a 3-pointer from the corner on his second shot attempt and finished with three points in 24 minutes.

''He'll help us defensively,'' D'Antoni said. ''I thought he may have gotten a little tired in the second half, but the first half, he was a dog out there. It was good. There are a lot of positive things.''

TIP-INS

Thunder: Reserve SG Alex Abrines was released Saturday, with the Thunder citing personal reasons. Abrines appeared in just two games since Dec. 23, sitting out because of undisclosed personal reasons. In 31 games this season, Abrines averaged 5.3 points.

Rockets: Houston was outrebounded 53-39. The Rockets fell to 8-5 without leading rebounder Clint Capela. He has a right thumb injury. ... Kenneth Faried had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Thunder: Host Portland on Monday night.

Rockets: Host Dallas on Monday night.

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Key Players
R. Westbrook
0 PG
J. Harden
13 SG
37.4 Min. Per Game 37.4
36.5 Pts. Per Game 36.5
7.9 Ast. Per Game 7.9
6.8 Reb. Per Game 6.8
41.5 Field Goal % 44.2
41.4 Three Point % 44.3
64.6 Free Throw % 86.9
+ 1 Paul George made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:01
+ 1 Paul George made 1st of 2 free throws 0:01
  Personal foul on P.J. Tucker 0:01
  Out of bounds turnover on Iman Shumpert 0:02
+ 1 Paul George made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:03
+ 1 Paul George made 1st of 2 free throws 0:03
  Personal foul on Kenneth Faried 0:03
  Defensive rebound by Paul George 0:03
+ 2 Russell Westbrook made driving layup 0:26
+ 2 James Harden made floating jump shot 0:31
+ 1 Paul George made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:52
Team Stats
Points 117 112
Field Goals 40-89 (44.9%) 37-86 (43.0%)
3-Pointers 13-34 (38.2%) 16-45 (35.6%)
Free Throws 24-30 (80.0%) 22-30 (73.3%)
Total Rebounds 63 49
Offensive 12 7
Defensive 41 32
Team 10 10
Assists 20 18
Steals 7 10
Blocks 5 7
Turnovers 19 12
Fouls 24 26
Technicals 1 1
45 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST
18 PTS, 10 REB, 9 AST
1234T
away team logo Thunder 36-19 25234227117
home team logo Rockets 32-23 28422022112
Team Stats
away team logo Thunder 36-19 114.5 PPG 48.1 RPG 23.1 APG
home team logo Rockets 32-23 113.1 PPG 41.6 RPG 20.9 APG
Key Players
P. George SF 28.2 PPG 8.1 RPG 4.2 APG 44.1 FG%
J. Harden SG 36.5 PPG 6.5 RPG 7.6 APG 43.8 FG%
Top Scorers
P. George SF 45 PTS 11 REB 3 AST
J. Harden SG 42 PTS 2 REB 1 AST
44.9 FG% 43.0
38.2 3PT FG% 35.6
80.0 FT% 73.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
P. George 45 11 3 12/22 6/14 15/18 5 41 1 0 2 2 9 +16 61
R. Westbrook 21 12 11 8/21 1/5 4/5 3 38 2 1 10 0 12 +2 48
T. Ferguson 15 4 3 6/9 3/5 0/0 5 34 0 0 0 0 4 +16 25
J. Grant 8 8 1 3/9 1/3 1/2 2 35 2 2 3 2 6 +6 19
S. Adams 6 9 0 3/6 0/0 0/0 1 38 2 2 2 3 6 +12 17
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
P. George 45 11 3 12/22 6/14 15/18 5 41 1 0 2 2 9 +16 61
R. Westbrook 21 12 11 8/21 1/5 4/5 3 38 2 1 10 0 12 +2 48
T. Ferguson 15 4 3 6/9 3/5 0/0 5 34 0 0 0 0 4 +16 25
J. Grant 8 8 1 3/9 1/3 1/2 2 35 2 2 3 2 6 +6 19
S. Adams 6 9 0 3/6 0/0 0/0 1 38 2 2 2 3 6 +12 17
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
D. Schroder 17 0 0 6/13 1/3 4/5 2 22 0 0 1 0 0 -12 16
P. Patterson 3 0 1 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 -13 5
N. Noel 2 4 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 1 9 0 0 0 2 2 -9 6
A. Nader 0 2 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 2 3 0 0 1 1 1 -11 1
A. Abrines - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Roberson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Burton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Grantham - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Diallo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Felton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 117 53 20 40/89 13/34 24/30 24 226 7 5 19 12 41 +7 198
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 42 2 1 11/28 6/16 14/15 2 37 1 0 5 0 2 -9 42
C. Paul 18 10 9 5/12 2/5 6/7 4 34 2 0 2 1 9 +10 46
K. Faried 17 12 2 8/11 0/0 1/5 3 30 1 0 3 3 9 -11 31
E. Gordon 13 0 2 5/14 3/10 0/0 4 32 1 3 1 0 0 -7 20
P. Tucker 0 7 2 0/3 0/1 0/0 4 35 1 2 0 3 4 -7 14
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 42 2 1 11/28 6/16 14/15 2 37 1 0 5 0 2 -9 42
C. Paul 18 10 9 5/12 2/5 6/7 4 34 2 0 2 1 9 +10 46
K. Faried 17 12 2 8/11 0/0 1/5 3 30 1 0 3 3 9 -11 31
E. Gordon 13 0 2 5/14 3/10 0/0 4 32 1 3 1 0 0 -7 20
P. Tucker 0 7 2 0/3 0/1 0/0 4 35 1 2 0 3 4 -7 14
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
A. Rivers 10 1 1 3/6 3/5 1/2 1 15 0 0 0 0 1 -9 13
G. Green 7 0 0 3/5 1/3 0/1 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 +2 7
I. Shumpert 3 4 0 1/5 1/5 0/0 4 24 1 1 1 0 4 -2 8
Nene 2 3 1 1/2 0/0 0/0 3 17 3 1 0 0 3 +8 11
C. Capela - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Edwards - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. House Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Hartenstein - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 112 39 18 37/86 16/45 22/30 26 236 10 7 12 7 32 -25 192