Harden has 37 points; Rockets subjection Thunder, Westbrook 118-87 (Apr 17, 2017)

HOUSTON (AP) Although James Harden is Houston’s undisputed star, he can’t tip Russell Westbrook wholly on his own.


As is so mostly a case, Patrick Beverley was there for support Sunday night.

Harden scored 37 points to dwarf Westbrook, and a Rockets pulled divided in a third entertain and coasted to a 118-87 feat over a Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Harden had 9 assists and 7 rebounds, and Beverley, who had a unenviable charge of guarding Westbrook, had a playoff career-best 21 points along with 10 rebounds.

Beverley’s opening was zero new to Harden, who has had a front quarrel chair to his work for years.

”That’s a reason we’re in a position we’re in,” Harden said. ”He brings it each game. Whether his shot is descending or not, he brings that intensity, that resolve. He was only Pat tonight.”

The best-of-seven Western Conference array continues Wednesday night in Houston.

The third-seeded Rockets were adult by 20 when Harden came off a dais with about 7 mins remaining. He went right to work – creation dual 3-pointers to appetite a 10-0 run and pull a lead to 110-80 with 4 1/2 mins left. Harden, who along with Westbrook is a front-runner for MVP, went to a bench, and both teams privileged their benches shortly after that.

Westbrook had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, though done only 6 of 23 shots and had 9 turnovers for a sixth-seeded Thunder.

”We’ve got to do a improved pursuit starting with myself – got to do a improved pursuit of holding caring of a basketball and creation some shots,” Westbrook said.

Beverley refused to take credit for negligence Westbrook down.

”It was a group bid in only perplexing to uncover him a lot of bodies,” he said. ”He’s one of a many bomb guards in this league, so we were only perplexing to make it tough on him.”

The Thunder trailed by 15 entering a fourth quarter, and 6 true points by a Rockets extended a lead to 100-78 with about 7 1/2 mins remaining. Lou Williams scored a initial 4 points in that span, and Beverley found Clint Capela on an alley-oop dunk.

The Rockets scored a initial 5 points of a second half to pull their lead to 10 early in a third quarter. After a timeout, Oklahoma City scored a subsequent 8 points with 3s from Westbrook and Andre Roberson to cut it to 64-62 with about 8 1/2 mins left in a quarter.

Houston scored a subsequent 9 points, capped by uninterrupted 3-pointers by Beverley to make it 73-64 mid by a period.

Beverley went to a dais shortly after that to a outrageous acclaim and a high 5 from Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, who watched a diversion from a courtside seat.

Thunder manager Billy Donovan raved about Beverley.

”He played a very, unequivocally good game,” Donavan said. ”I suspicion he impacted a diversion way, approach some-more with his energy, his effort, his hustle, his lax balls, his descent rebounding, gripping balls alive. That’s where he unequivocally did a good job.”

Westbrook finished a scoring drought of roughly 3 1/2 mins for a Thunder with a layup, though Houston used an 8-2 emanate – highlighted by a 3 from Eric Gordon – to pull a lead to 81-68 with only some-more than 3 mins remaining in a third.

Harden done a span of giveaway throws to top a third entertain and leave Houston adult 89-74 entering a fourth.

For Houston manager Mike D’Antoni, it’s a initial postseason win given Apr 27, 2008, with Phoenix. D’Antoni’s teams were swept in a initial turn in his final dual trips to a playoffs in 2011 with a Knicks and 2013 with a Lakers.

Houston’s feat comes after a group went 3-1 in a unchanging deteriorate opposite a Thunder.

The Rockets led 59-54 during halftime.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Roberson combined 18 points with 7 rebounds. … Oklahoma City, that led a NBA in resilient in a unchanging season, was outrebounded 56-41. … Jerami Grant had 10 points.

Rockets: Capela missed a few mins in a second entertain to accept 3 stitches in his lip. He had 14 points and 7 rebounds. … Nene had 15 points. … Houston had 31 second-chance points to only 4 by a Thunder.

THEY SAID IT

Thunder core Steven Adams on Oklahoma City’s performance: ”We were only rabble on a reads, on a pick-and-rolls. We were only positively garbage. We only have to go behind to a sketch house and figure it out before Game 2.”

PUTTING THE WIN IN PERSPECTIVE

D’Antoni wants to make certain that his group realizes it still has a lot of work to do notwithstanding a large win.

”All we did is urge a home court, and that’s what we’re ostensible to do,” he said. ”It’s good to play good and get a win since we have to, though this is only one small step … in a large intrigue of things. I’m certain they’ll rebound back, and we’ve got to be prepared to go.”

UP NEXT

Oklahoma City will sojourn in Houston for dual days of use before Game 2 on Wednesday night during a Toyota Center.

More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com