Harden scores 21 points, Rockets beat Thunder for 2-0 lead - FOX34 Lubbock

Harden scores 21 points, Rockets beat Thunder for 2-0 lead

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James Harden James Harden

James Harden had 21 points and nine assists and the Houston Rockets made 19 of an NBA-record 56 3-point attempts to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-98 on Thursday for a 2-0 lead in the first-round Western Conference series.

Former Thunder star Russell Westbrook was out for the Rockets again with a right quad strain, but plenty of other Houston players picked up the slack. Danuel House Jr. scored 19 points.

 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points for the Thunder, and Danilo Gallinari added 17.

Oklahoma City dominated the second quarter and led 59-53 at halftime. The Thunder shot 50% in the half. Houston missed its last 15 3-pointers in the second quarter, and Harden scored just eight points on 2-for-10 shooting in the half.

The Rockets went on a 13-0 run early in the second half to regain the lead. Gilgeous-Alexander, who had been cold in the bubble, made three straight 3-pointers to highlight an 11-0 run that put the Thunder ahead again. The Thunder held on and led 78-77 at the end of the third quarter.

Oklahoma City led 80-77 before the Rockets broke away with a 17-0 run, with just two of the points coming from Harden, the league scoring champion.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Made 8 of 16 3-pointers in the first quarter, but just 2 of 19 in the second. ... Took 10 shots inside the 3-point line in the opening period. ... Harden had five assists in the first quarter. ... Did not have a turnover in the first half.

Thunder: G Lu Dort returned to the starting lineup after missing Game 1 with a right knee sprain. He scored eight points in 25 minutes. ... Had nine turnovers in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Game 3 is Saturday.

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