West­brook’s 51 not enough to save OKC

West­brook’s record per­for­mance couldn’t lift Ok­la­homa City against Hous­ton

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

Hous­ton— James Har­den scored 35 points as the Hous­ton Rock­ets over­came 51 points from Rus­sell West­brook in the high­est-scor­ing triple-double in play­off his­tory, beat­ing the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der 115-111 on Wed­nes­day night to take a 20 lead in the first-round Western Con­fer­ence play­off se­ries.

West­brook set a fran­chise play­off scor­ing record and added 13 as­sists and 10 re­bounds. It was the sixth ca­reer play­off triple-double for West­brook, who had an NBA-record 42 in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

But he shot just 4 for 18 in the fourth quar­ter as the Rock­ets clawed back from a double-digit deficit to surge ahead.

The game was tied be­fore Hous­ton scored 10 straight points with 3-point­ers from Har­den, Pa­trick Bev­er­ley and Eric Gor­don to make it 114104 with 1:22 re­main­ing. West­brook had four straight points to start a 7-1 run after that, but the Thun­der wouldn’t get any closer. Bal­anced at­tack

This was a much dif­fer­ent game than the se­ries opener, when Hous­ton routed the Thun­der 118-87. On Wed­nes­day night, Hous­ton trailed by as many as 15 and didn’t take a lead un­til the fourth quar­ter.

The Rock­ets ben­e­fited from a bal­anced scor­ing at­tack, with Lou Wil­liams adding 21, Gor­don scor­ing 22 off the bench and Game 1 star Bev­er­ley chip­ping in 15.

The Rock­ets used a big run early in the fourth quar­ter to go on top for the first time in the game with about eight min­utes re­main­ing. Har­den’s 3 about three min­utes later made it 104-100.

An­dre Rober­son added a tip-in layup for the Thun­der be­fore two free throws by West­brook tied it at 104-all with about 3 min­utes left.

The Thun­der led by three en­ter­ing the fourth quar­ter and scored the first five points of the pe­riod, high­lighted by a 3-pointer from Doug McDer­mott, to make it 94-86.

Ok­la­homa City went more than three min­utes with­out scor­ing to al­low Hous­ton to take the lead. The Thun­der had missed seven straight shots when West­brook got them back on track with a layup with about eight min­utes left.

The Thun­der led by seven with about nine min­utes left in the third quar­ter be­fore West­brook made four quick points to ex­tend the lead to 79-68. Hous­ton scored the next six points, but Ok­la­homa City an­swered with seven points in a row after that, with five from West­brook, to ex­tend the lead to 86-74 with about 3 min­utes left in the quar­ter.

The Thun­der led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but Hous­ton had cut the lead to 68-62 at half­time.

AP

Ok­la­homa City Thun­der guard Rus­sell West­brook walks down the court in the fi­nal sec­onds of Game 2 against Hous­ton.

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