NBA: Russell Westbrook scores 51, to no avail as Thunder falls to Rockets
Russell Westbrook put up gaudy numbers Wednesday night — 51 points, for example.
The Houston Rockets got a more modest performance from James Harden, but a collective scoring effort helped them rally for a 115-111 win at home over the Oklahoma City Thunder to take a 2-0 lead in a first-round Western Conference playoff series.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Harden said. “We didn’t make a lot of shots. We gave them the early lead and we had to fight our way back and we did.”
Harden scored 35 points and the Rockets overcame Westbrook, who had the highest-scoring triple-double in playoff history. Westbrook set a franchise playoff scoring record and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds.
But he shot just four for 18 in the fourth quarter and the Rockets clawed back from a double-digit deficit.
He was not in the mood to talk about his statistics after the game.
“I don’t give a ... about the line,” he said before glaring at reporters. “We lost.”
Game 3 is Friday night in Oklahoma City.
The game was tied before Houston scored 10 straight points with three-pointers from Harden, Patrick Beverley and Eric Gordon to make it 114-104 with 1:22 remaining.
Westbrook had four straight points to start a 7-1 run after that, but the Thunder wouldn’t get any closer.
The Rockets benefited from a balanced scoring attack, with Lou Williams adding 21, Gordon scoring 22 off the bench and Game 1 star Beverley chipping in 15.
The Thunder led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but Houston had cut the lead to 68-62 at halftime.
at Washington 109, Atlanta 101: In a foul-filled game, Bradley Beal took over in the fourth quarter with 16 of his 31 points, including a key late three-pointer, helping the Wizards take a 2-0 lead in an Eastern Conference series.
John Wall finished with 32 points and nine assists, including the dish to Beal for his shot from beyond the arc with 38 seconds remaining that sealed the win for the hosts.
Washington, which trailed 78-74 entering the final period, won despite only a combined seven points from starting forwards Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr., who were both in foul trouble early.
The series now shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Dennis Schroder scored 23 points. But Dwight Howard had only seven rebounds, half his Game 1 total, and six points.
Washington led 51-43 at halftime. More noteworthy: There were 29 personal fouls in the opening 24 minutes, 55 for the game.
at Golden State 110, Portland 81: Stephen Curry scored 19 points on an off night, JaVale McGee sparked Golden State off the bench with 15 points, and the Warriors beat the Trail Blazers in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series without injured leading scorer Kevin Durant.
McGee shined on a night none of the usual stars found their consistent shooting strokes. The backup big man made all seven of his field-goal attempts and delivered several more of his signature alley-oop dunks as Durant watched with a strained left calf he hurt in the playoff opener Sunday.
Draymond Green had another great game, getting 12 rebounds, 10 assists, six points and three more blocked shots after swatting five in Sunday’s win.
Curry went 6 for 18 and also had six assists and six rebounds. Klay Thompson added 16 points and CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard struggled.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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