The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Houston Rockets 106-98 on Tuesday night in a chippy affair that saw Kevin Durant score a game-high 42 points.
Tuesday marked the 11th time that Durant scored at least 40 points this season, which is more than twice as many as any other player.
With the win, the Thunder (47-17) snapped a two-game losing streak while handing the Rockets (44-20) their first loss in the month of March.
Durant racked up his 42 points on a tidy 12-of-22 shooting (5-of-8 from three) and 13-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line while pulling down five rebounds and dishing out four assists.
Russell Westbrook added 24 points (6-of-14 shooting, 11-of-14 from the line) and seven assists, but turned the ball over a game-high five times. He also recorded a game-high four steals.
Serge Ibaka totaled a double-double consisting of 12 points and 16 rebounds (seven offensive) while Caron Butler led all Oklahoma City bench scorers with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting (3-of-7 from three).
As a team, the Thunder shot 43 percent from the field and 38 percent from three.
James Harden was superb for Houston, compiling 28 points (9-of-21 shooting, 3-of-7 from three), nine assists and eight boards, but the Rockets struggled to consistently create offense and found themselves down by double-digits for the majority of the second and third quarters.
Chandler Parsons was good for 19 points, six rebounds and four assists, but Dwight Howard struggled for the third time this season against the Thunder and managed a meager nine points (on 4-of-12 shooting) and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Next up for the Thunder is a showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday while the Rockets will square off against the Chicago Bulls after a day off on Wednesday.
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