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OKC

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Paul scores 25; Rockets top Thunder for 16th straight win

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Rockets are still rolling.

Chris Paul scored 25 points, James Harden had 23 points and 11 assists, and Houston beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-112 on Tuesday night for its 16th straight victory.

The Rockets matched Boston for the longest win streak in the league this season and are on the second-longest win streak in franchise history. Harden was blunt when asked what those things meant to him.

''Nothing,'' he said. ''Nothing at all. We just want to play well. We want to play well and have each other's back, no matter what, on both ends of the floor. It doesn't matter. Wins and losses will come.''

Trevor Ariza scored 15 points and Eric Gordon added 14 for the Rockets.

Russell Westbrook scored 32 points and Carmelo Anthony added 23 for Oklahoma City, which is in a logjam of teams trying to fight their way into third place in the West.

Oklahoma City had beaten several of the league's top teams this season. The Thunder have two wins over Golden State, a victory over Toronto and a win over Cleveland this season. The Rockets avoided that fate by going 17 of 33 on 3-pointers and 29 of 34 on free throws.

''We're so good offensively that every single night, teams are going to throw different coverages at us,'' Harden said. ''We've just got to figure out ways to attack them. Tonight was no different. Once we found something that we could go to, we used it. Guys got open shots and we just ride that wave out the entire game.''

The Rockets led 54-45 at halftime as Harden posted 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Anthony had 19 points for the Thunder and Westbrook had 14, but All-Star Paul George went 1 for 7 from the field before the break.

The Thunder closed the gap to three in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but the Rockets dominated the rest of the way and led 87-74 at the end of the period. Houston made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the quarter.

''You just have to keep playing,'' Thunder guard Corey Brewer said. ''They are going to make shots. You can't get down. You can't let their shot-making affect your game. I think tonight we got a little bit down when they made tough shots but that's what they do.''

Houston extended its lead to 19 midway through the fourth quarter.

''When a team like that is making 3s, it's tough out there because you're always in a scramble situation,'' Anthony said. ''But you know, those guys beat us tonight, and we have to accept that and move on and learn from it.''

TIP-INS

Rockets: Forced eight turnovers in the first quarter. ... Improved to 33-1 when Harden, Paul and Clint Capela all play in the same game. ... Lost to the Thunder on Christmas Day while Paul sat out with a groin strain.

Thunder: Anthony passed Jerry West to move into 20th in NBA history in scoring. ... Anthony returned after resting during Saturday's game at Portland.

STAT LINES

Houston hasn't lost since Jan. 26 at New Orleans. The Rockets' last home loss was Jan. 4 against Golden State.

QUOTABLE

Ariza, on the Rockets getting open shots: ''We know our roles. We know what we have to do. We know we need to keep the floor spaced. When the floor is spaced, it's like reading a little A-B-C book.''

FITTING IN

Brewer made his Thunder home debut. The former Rocket finished with 10 points in just over 23 minutes. The guard played his first game with the Oklahoma City last Saturday in Portland.

''It's only my second game and I've only had one practice, so you know it's only going to get better,'' he said.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Play at the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Thunder: Host the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

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Key Players
J. Harden
13 SG
R. Westbrook
0 PG
36.2 Min. Per Game 36.2
25.3 Pts. Per Game 25.3
10.2 Ast. Per Game 10.2
9.7 Reb. Per Game 9.7
44.9 Field Goal % 44.3
44.7 Three Point % 44.0
86.4 Free Throw % 73.9
  Offensive rebound by P.J. Tucker 0:07
  P.J. Tucker missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:12
  Team rebound 0:12
  P.J. Tucker missed 1st of 2 free throws 0:12
  Personal foul on Corey Brewer 0:12
+ 2 Russell Westbrook made driving layup 0:17
+ 1 Chris Paul made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:20
+ 1 Chris Paul made 1st of 2 free throws 0:20
  Personal foul on Corey Brewer 0:20
  Defensive rebound by Chris Paul 0:22
  Carmelo Anthony missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:27
Team Stats
Points 122 112
Field Goals 38-71 (53.5%) 46-93 (49.5%)
3-Pointers 17-33 (51.5%) 12-34 (35.3%)
Free Throws 29-34 (85.3%) 8-11 (72.7%)
Total Rebounds 44 44
Offensive 7 12
Defensive 30 21
Team 7 11
Assists 25 18
Steals 11 13
Blocks 7 3
Turnovers 21 19
Fouls 20 28
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 5 REB, 11 AST
32 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST
1234T
away team logo Rockets 50-13 26283335122
home team logo Thunder 37-29 24212938112
Team Stats
away team logo Rockets 50-13 104.9 PPG 43 RPG 18.8 APG
home team logo Thunder 37-29 101.2 PPG 44 RPG 16.3 APG
Key Players
C. Paul PG 18.6 PPG 5.4 RPG 7.9 APG 46.0 FG%
R. Westbrook PG 25.4 PPG 10.1 RPG 10.3 APG 44.9 FG%
Top Scorers
C. Paul PG 25 PTS 4 REB 5 AST
R. Westbrook PG 32 PTS 4 REB 7 AST
53.5 FG% 49.5
51.5 3PT FG% 35.3
85.3 FT% 72.7
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. Paul 32 25 4 5 3 0 2 2 7/14 5/6 6/6 0 4 40 +11
J. Harden 36 23 5 11 4 1 10 4 8/13 1/3 6/7 0 5 45 +3
T. Ariza 32 15 3 2 3 1 2 4 4/8 3/5 4/4 0 3 24 -6
P. Tucker 26 10 6 3 0 0 2 0 4/8 2/5 0/2 4 2 20 +2
C. Capela 27 10 3 1 0 2 0 3 4/6 0/0 2/4 0 3 17 -6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. Paul 32 25 4 5 3 0 2 2 7/14 5/6 6/6 0 4 40 +11
J. Harden 36 23 5 11 4 1 10 4 8/13 1/3 6/7 0 5 45 +3
T. Ariza 32 15 3 2 3 1 2 4 4/8 3/5 4/4 0 3 24 -6
P. Tucker 26 10 6 3 0 0 2 0 4/8 2/5 0/2 4 2 20 +2
C. Capela 27 10 3 1 0 2 0 3 4/6 0/0 2/4 0 3 17 -6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
E. Gordon 28 14 5 1 1 1 4 0 3/7 3/6 5/5 0 5 19 +8
L. Mbah a Moute 23 11 3 2 0 0 0 2 3/3 1/1 4/4 0 3 18 +6
Nene 16 8 5 0 0 2 1 3 3/5 0/0 2/2 3 2 14 +16
G. Green 15 6 3 0 0 0 0 2 2/7 2/7 0/0 0 3 9 +16
B. Wright - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Anderson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Hunter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Onuaku - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Black - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Qi - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 122 37 25 11 7 21 20 38/71 17/33 29/34 7 30 206 +50
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 39 32 4 7 1 1 9 4 15/27 0/4 2/2 2 2 43 -4
C. Anthony 32 23 4 0 1 0 3 2 8/18 4/10 3/4 3 1 25 +6
P. George 38 17 4 5 3 0 1 4 7/16 2/8 1/2 1 3 33 -2
S. Adams 38 16 8 1 3 0 3 3 7/9 0/0 2/3 3 5 26 -3
J. Huestis 19 3 3 1 0 2 0 1 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 3 10 +1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 39 32 4 7 1 1 9 4 15/27 0/4 2/2 2 2 43 -4
C. Anthony 32 23 4 0 1 0 3 2 8/18 4/10 3/4 3 1 25 +6
P. George 38 17 4 5 3 0 1 4 7/16 2/8 1/2 1 3 33 -2
S. Adams 38 16 8 1 3 0 3 3 7/9 0/0 2/3 3 5 26 -3
J. Huestis 19 3 3 1 0 2 0 1 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 3 10 +1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. Brewer 23 10 0 0 0 0 1 6 4/10 2/6 0/0 0 0 9 -20
R. Felton 10 8 1 1 2 0 1 3 3/8 2/3 0/0 1 0 12 -7
J. Grant 20 3 4 3 1 0 1 3 1/2 1/2 0/0 1 3 13 -3
P. Patterson 10 0 5 0 1 0 0 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 4 6 -11
A. Abrines 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
D. Johnson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
T. Ferguson 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 1 -7
K. Singler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Roberson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Dozier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hamilton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Collison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 238 112 33 18 13 3 19 28 46/93 12/34 8/11 12 21 178 -50