Thunder falter late in close game 4 loss
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) —
Nene scored 28 points on perfect shooting from the field, and the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Nene made all 12 of his shots and had 10 rebounds. He helped the Rockets overcome an off night by James Harden, who finished with 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting.
Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each scored 18 points for the Rockets. Trevor Ariza had 14.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Houston.
Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by halftime and finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. The Thunder said Westbrook joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to claim three consecutive playoff triple-doubles.
Steven Adams scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo added 15 for the Thunder.
Westbrook had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at the break. He grabbed the 10th rebound in the final second of the second quarter, and the Thunder led 58-54 at intermission. Meanwhile, Harden made just 2 of 9 shots and scored just six points in the first half.
The Thunder opened the second half with a 10-2 run, but Houston closed to 77-73 at the end of the third quarter.
Adams made the first of two free throws with 21.7 seconds remaining to cut Oklahoma City's deficit to four. He rebounded his missed second free throw and found Westbrook for a 3-pointer that cut Houston's lead to one point. But the Thunder lost track of Nene on the other end, and he converted a three-point play. Gordon's two free throws with 6.2 seconds made it a four-point game.
Rockets: G Patrick Beverley was fined $25,000 by the NBA for confronting a fan after Game 3. The league announced the fine about two hours before Game 4 tipped off.
Thunder: Westbrook had just one turnover in the first half. ... Adams went 6 for 6 from the field in the first half. ... Westbrook missed all six of his shots in the third quarter.