Houston, TX- The Thunder beat the Rockets 98-80 on Thursday night behind Paul George 20 points to extend their seven game winning streak. George also contributed 11 rebounds, 6 assist, 6 steals.
Russell Westbrook missed his second straight game with a sprained ankle, but the Thunder have continued to win without him. Oklahoma City didn’t need much help as the Rockets made only 11 of 42 three point field goals. This is the fifth time in seven games that the Rockets failed to score at least 100 points.
The Rockets shot 37.8% from the field and 26% from the 3-point line. Oklahoma City was the more aggressive team considering they had 24 free throw attempts to the Rockets 10. The offense was nonexistent and the Rockets continue to keep letting the opponents score willingly in the paint. 42 points in the paint and getting out-rebounded 61-45 is a lack of defensive awareness and effort.
James Harden scored 19 points, but made only 7 of 19 shots. He went 4-12 from 3-point line and committed 5 turnovers which tied him with Chris Paul. Clint Capela added 17 points for Houston, which had won three in row despite its offensive struggles. Carmelo Anthony scored 2 points in his return to OKC going 1-for-11 shooting. Chris Paul added 10 points, five assists and six steals.
The Thunder led 59-45 at halftime with 53.8 % shooting. The second quarter, George made all five of his shots and scored 14 points. Oklahoma City held Paul and Anthony scoreless in the first half. Steven Adams had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrance Ferguson and Dennis Schroder each added 14 points for Oklahoma City. All five Thunder starters scored in double figures before the end of the third quarter.
“I don’t know if we’re just sagging because we don’t believe in what we’re - I don’t know,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve got to find the answers.”
Eric Gordon missed his third straight game with a strained-muscle in his right thigh. The reserves made 1 of 11 shots in the first half…Paul was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter. Houston’s reserves shot a combined 6 for 27 from the field and made just 3-18 from 3-pointers. Oklahoma City’s reserves shot 8 for 21. Point guard Raymond Felton led the way with 10 points.
Rockets will play final game on this 5-game road trip in San Antonio on Saturday night.