The Houston Rockets pulled out an impressive comeback 113-109 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Day. 

The Christmas Day match-up against the conference-rival Rockets in Houston started out well for the Thunder, as they benefitted from strong play by their "big three" of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams early on, and took an eight point lead into the halftime locker room. Westbrook even made some NBA history in the first half of action, as he passed Scottie Pippen for the most career steals on Christmas with 25 (h/t ESPN Stats & Info). 

However, the good vibes didn't last for the Thunder, as the Rockets mounted an impressive second-half comeback thanks largely to reigning NBA MVP James Harden, who tallied his seventh consecutive 30-plus point game; second all-time in Rockets franchise history, behind only Moses Malone's streak during the 1981-82 season. Harden finished the game with 41 points – his seventh 40-plius point game of the season. Clint Capela also gave the Rockets a big boost, as he set an NBA Christmas Day record with 23 rebounds. 

With the win, the Rockets climbed up to 18-15 on the season, which is good for seventh in the West, while the Thunder dropped to 21-12 and remain in the third spot in the conference. 

Here are five takeaways from the game: 

1. Harden is reigning NBA MVP for a reason

Harden does virtually everything on the court for the Rockets, and his impact was on full display on Christmas Day. He recorded his seventh 40-plus-point game of the '18-19 season (41), and also added seven assists, six rebounds and two steals for good measure. He also knocked down five 3s and went 6-of-7 from the line, and his production helped propel the Rockets to a big win, despite a somewhat slow start. When clutch buckets are needed, there are few players in the NBA more reliable than Harden.

2. Oklahoma City needs shooters

The Thunder look like a legitimate contender this season, but they have a glaring weakness: They lack consistent outside shooting. As a team, the Thunder made just nine 3s against Houston, while the Rockets recorded 15. That differential in points from beyond the arc was much larger than the difference in the final score.

3. Capela might be an underrated rebounder

Capela is being paid handsomely by Houston, but when it comes to the best rebounders in the league conversation, he is rarely mentioned. All he does is bring down boards. He has 46 rebounds over his past two games, and set a Christmas Day record with 23 boards against the Thunder, despite the presence of noted glass-attackers like Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel.

4. Don't count Houston out

The Rockets struggled [mightily] out of the gate to start the season, but they have turned things around and won seven of their last 10. The matchup against the Thunder on Christmas Day felt like a playoff-type game, and the Rockets came out on top despite the fact that Chris Paul was stuck on the sideline. They remain thin, but if Houston is able to add a bit of depth moving forward, it could be a tough out again come playoff time. 

5. George continues to establish himself as OKC's alpha

Some adjustments were necessary last season, but Paul George has blossomed during his second season in Oklahoma City. George is averaging career-highs across the board, and he looks to be playing with a consistent confidence that wasn't always noticeable in the past. George led the Thunder in scoring with 28 points on Christmas Day, and Russell Westbrook is becoming increasingly comfortable deferring to George down the stretch of games. Though it didn't result in a win on Tuesday, having George and Westbrook both in sync and playing well together will bode will for the Thunder moving forward.