The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled out a 111-107 home win against the Houston Rockets Tuesday night. Russell Westbrook led the way for the Thunder, making several big fourth-quarter plays and accumulating totals of 21 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out 15 assists.
Houston had a chance to win on its final possession down two points, but James Harden threw an errant lob to Dwight Howard that was broken up by Dion Waiters. Russell Westbrook sank both free throws to push the final deficit to four points.
The contest was fast-paced all the way through, with both teams frequently looking to score in transition and to hoist plenty of threes (the squads combined for 72 three-point attempts). It was also a close game where neither side could gain much of an edge, with an amazing 21 total lead changes.
James Harden had a solid game despite a nagging ankle injury, notching 24 points, seven rebounds and a career-high 16 assists for Houston. Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley also chipped in 16 points apiece.
However, it was too much Westbrook and Kevin Durant (23 points) down the stretch against an unreliable Houston defense, and the Thunder secured the victory. Dion Waiters added 17 points, as well.
Both squads next play against the Utah Jazz, with the 35-36 Rockets getting a shot against them Wednesday night and the 49-22 Thunder facing them Thursday.