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OKC

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George hits game-winner as Thunder rally to beat Rockets

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma City's Paul George delivered the final blow against Houston's P.J. Tucker.

George hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left, and the Thunder rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Rockets 112-111 on Tuesday night.

It was a physical matchup between George and Tucker, who at one point had to be separated during an altercation. George scored a hard-earned 27 points on 9-for-25 shooting. He savored the fact that he got his last bucket after Tucker failed to close out successfully on him in the corner.

''All I needed was a little space, and it's not a guy that's got great lift, so I was able to shoot right over him,'' George said.

Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 33rd triple-double of the season.

The Thunder won their fourth straight and moved into sixth place in the Western Conference standings with one game remaining. The Thunder play at Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Bucks are expected to sit their key players. The Thunder said that wouldn't matter.

''All in,'' George said. ''Last game of the year. Playing well. Picked up another big win tonight.''

James Harden scored 39 points and Chris Paul added 24 for the Rockets, who slipped into the third spot in the conference standings in their regular-season finale after having their six-game win streak snapped.

''Not the way we wanted to end it, of course, but I think we are in a pretty good space,'' Harden said. ''We have been playing well. Defensively, we have been getting after it. Offensively, we have been knocking down shots. We are excited. We are ready.''

Harden scored 26 points in the first half to help the Rockets take a 60-51 lead.

The Rockets led 93-80 at the end of the third quarter. Oklahoma City rallied, and it hit another level after Westbrook returned from a rest in the fourth. His 3-pointer finally put the Thunder ahead 100-99.

Houston regained the lead, but Westbrook hit a 3-pointer with 20.2 seconds left to cut the Rockets' lead to a point. Harden made two free throws at the other end to make it a three-point game. Westbrook dunked with 9.7 seconds left to trim Houston's lead to 110-109.

Harden made the first and missed the second free throw at the other end with 9.4 seconds left to set up George's shot. Houston had one more chance after George's 3-pointer, but Harden missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

It was the kind of energy and drama that often comes with postseason basketball.

''The atmosphere was crazy,'' George said. ''It was crazy. It had a playoff kind of feel tonight. That was a good preview for the Western Conference.''

Harden was ready to move on after the game.

''This one is over, and now we prepare for something big,'' he said.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Harden shot 4 for 11 in the first quarter and still scored 14 points. ... The Rockets shot 16 3-pointers and four 2-pointers in the third quarter. ... Houston made 18 of 53 3-pointers after setting the NBA record with 27 made 3s Sunday against Phoenix. ... Jeff Bzdelik coached in place of Mike D'Antoni, who had been hospitalized with an intestinal virus.

Thunder: C Steven Adams had nine rebounds in the first quarter and finished with 13. ... Terrance Ferguson scored 16 points for his highest-scoring game since Jan. 17. ... Westbrook was called for a Flagrant 1 early in the third quarter for running through Tucker. ... It was the 137th triple-double of Westbrook's career, leaving him one behind Magic Johnson for second all-time.

QUOTABLE

George on Tucker's physical play: ''Yeah, it was some things called, some things wasn't.''

STAT LINES

Westbrook's averages during Oklahoma City's four-game win streak: 23.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 15.3 assists.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Will host a team to be determined in the first round of the playoffs.

Thunder: At Milwaukee on Wednesday.

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Key Players
J. Harden
13 SG
R. Westbrook
0 PG
36.0 Min. Per Game 36.0
23.0 Pts. Per Game 23.0
10.7 Ast. Per Game 10.7
11.0 Reb. Per Game 11.0
44.2 Field Goal % 42.6
44.1 Three Point % 42.5
87.9 Free Throw % 65.9
  James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:00
  Defensive rebound by Russell Westbrook 0:09
+ 1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 0:09
  Personal foul on Russell Westbrook 0:09
+ 2 Russell Westbrook made driving dunk 0:09
+ 1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 0:15
  Personal foul on Paul George 0:15
+ 3 Russell Westbrook made 3-pt. jump shot 0:20
  Defensive rebound by Russell Westbrook 0:24
  Chris Paul missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:27
  Bad pass turnover on Russell Westbrook, stolen by Chris Paul 0:45
Team Stats
Points 111 112
Field Goals 38-88 (43.2%) 40-96 (41.7%)
3-Pointers 18-53 (34.0%) 16-41 (39.0%)
Free Throws 17-20 (85.0%) 16-20 (80.0%)
Total Rebounds 46 67
Offensive 9 18
Defensive 33 38
Team 4 11
Assists 18 20
Steals 7 5
Blocks 7 2
Turnovers 11 12
Fouls 21 20
Technicals 1 1
39 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST
29 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST
1234T
away team logo Rockets 53-29 32283318111
home team logo Thunder 48-33 26252932112
Team Stats
away team logo Rockets 53-29 108.5 PPG 42.9 RPG 18.3 APG
home team logo Thunder 48-33 105.2 PPG 43.2 RPG 22.6 APG
Key Players
J. Harden SG 31.6 PPG 6.8 RPG 6.6 APG 41.3 FG%
R. Westbrook PG 22.8 PPG 9.0 RPG 10.6 APG 36.0 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Harden SG 39 PTS 10 REB 3 AST
R. Westbrook PG 29 PTS 12 REB 10 AST
43.2 FG% 41.7
34.0 3PT FG% 39.0
85.0 FT% 80.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 39 10 3 11/28 5/15 12/13 4 36 1 1 4 1 9 +1 53
C. Paul 24 8 6 9/15 5/9 1/1 2 34 1 0 1 1 7 +4 44
C. Capela 18 10 3 8/10 0/0 2/4 2 36 0 3 3 3 7 -4 34
E. Gordon 8 1 3 3/12 2/9 0/0 2 30 1 1 1 0 1 -12 16
P. Tucker 4 6 0 1/4 0/3 2/2 4 30 1 2 1 3 3 -3 12
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 39 10 3 11/28 5/15 12/13 4 36 1 1 4 1 9 +1 53
C. Paul 24 8 6 9/15 5/9 1/1 2 34 1 0 1 1 7 +4 44
C. Capela 18 10 3 8/10 0/0 2/4 2 36 0 3 3 3 7 -4 34
E. Gordon 8 1 3 3/12 2/9 0/0 2 30 1 1 1 0 1 -12 16
P. Tucker 4 6 0 1/4 0/3 2/2 4 30 1 2 1 3 3 -3 12
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Green 15 0 0 5/9 5/9 0/0 1 15 1 0 0 0 0 +2 16
A. Rivers 3 3 1 1/4 1/4 0/0 1 21 1 0 0 0 3 +2 9
D. House Jr. 0 2 1 0/4 0/4 0/0 3 23 1 0 0 0 2 +2 5
Nene 0 2 1 0/2 0/0 0/0 2 11 0 0 1 1 1 +3 3
K. Faried - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Shumpert - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Edwards - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Frazier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Hartenstein - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Duval - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Chiozza - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 111 42 18 38/88 18/53 17/20 21 236 7 7 11 9 33 -5 192
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
R. Westbrook 29 12 10 11/23 4/10 3/3 4 37 0 0 3 2 10 +3 58
P. George 27 9 3 9/25 4/14 5/6 4 42 4 0 2 1 8 +9 44
T. Ferguson 16 3 1 6/10 3/6 1/1 3 25 0 0 2 0 3 -8 19
J. Grant 10 5 1 3/10 2/6 2/2 2 35 1 1 1 2 3 -6 18
S. Adams 8 13 1 3/11 0/0 2/4 1 36 0 0 0 8 5 +2 23
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
R. Westbrook 29 12 10 11/23 4/10 3/3 4 37 0 0 3 2 10 +3 58
P. George 27 9 3 9/25 4/14 5/6 4 42 4 0 2 1 8 +9 44
T. Ferguson 16 3 1 6/10 3/6 1/1 3 25 0 0 2 0 3 -8 19
J. Grant 10 5 1 3/10 2/6 2/2 2 35 1 1 1 2 3 -6 18
S. Adams 8 13 1 3/11 0/0 2/4 1 36 0 0 0 8 5 +2 23
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
D. Schroder 10 5 1 3/8 2/4 2/2 2 29 0 0 3 2 3 -1 14
M. Morris 5 7 1 2/3 0/0 1/2 1 12 0 0 0 2 5 +7 14
N. Noel 4 2 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 1 11 0 1 1 1 1 -1 6
R. Felton 3 0 2 1/3 1/1 0/0 1 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
P. Patterson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Nader - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Roberson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Burton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Grantham - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Diallo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Evans - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 112 56 20 40/96 16/41 16/20 20 237 5 2 12 18 38 +5 203