NBA -- Rockets silence Thunder with Harden's 41
By Anthony Rozic
Mon, 06 Apr 2015
CHICAGO -- James Harden scattered 41 points, including eight in the final 2:34 of play, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 115-112 victory over the OKC Thunder on Sunday afternoon.
With the score tied at 100-100, Harden silenced the Chesapeake Energy Arena by drilling a 24-foot 3. After Enes Kanter split his free throws in the ensuing play, Harden swished another 3 plus a 2-pointer to give Houston a 108-101 spread.
In his fifth game back since missing nearly two months due to injuries, Dwight Howard had a prolific 22 points and 8 rebounds. John Smith added 14 points and four dimes off the bench while Trevor Ariza finished with 12 and 9 rebounds.
At 53-24, the Rockets moved to second place in the Western Conference, sliding past the 52-25 Memphis Grizzlies, who have gone just 5-5 in their last 10 while the Rockets have won 8 of their last 10.
Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds but the ace guard couldn't pull the win as he Thunder made only 40 of 92 field goals. Westbrook went just 12 of 29 shots, including 4-of-11 from 3-point range.
Despite three straight losses, the 42-35 Thunder clung to the eighth and last playoffs spot in the Western Conference, but their lead over the 41-35 New Orleans Pelicans has been cut to a half-game.
Photo: James Harden (L) exploded for 41 points to pace the Houston Rockets past the KC Thunder, 115-112.
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