The Houston Rockets led 100-85 with 6:10 remaining in the fourth quarter when Dennis Schroder scored a layup to cut within the Thunder’s deficit. The basket by Schroder ignited a 27-7 run, as the Rockets suffered a 112-107 loss to Oklahoma City, Monday evening, inside the Toyota Center in Houston.
By losing the regular-season series 2-1, the Thunder now holds the tiebreaker over the Rockets as Houston dropped their fourth consecutive game in a row.
With Steven Adams ruled out two minutes into the game following a collision with Clint Capela, the Rockets failed to take advantage of the Thunder’s lack of rim protection. They connected on nine of their 45 attempts from behind the arc, were out-rebounded 47-43 on the boards.
Despite recording 29 points in the loss, James Harden shooting woes continued as he shot 9-for-29 from the floor (31.0%) and an unpleasant 1-for-17 (.05%) from behind the arc. Foul trouble throughout the game put restrictions on Capela’s aggressiveness with 12 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
Russell Westbrook took only one 3-point field goal attempt and appeared to be the only player looking to attack the basket. He scored a game-high 32 points (16-24 FG) and became the second player (LeBron James) in NBA history to record a triple-double against each team with 12 assists and 11 rebounds.
The Rockets trailed by as many as 10 in the first quarter but held a 64-57 lead into the halftime break. Houston was able to capitalize on a 39-point second quarter thanks in part of the first half production coming from Danuel House, as the Houston native scored 13 points in his first 17 minutes of play.
Although Danilo Gallinari added 25 points (7-19 FG, 4-8 3PT) and led the Thunder in their fourth-quarter surge, Chris Paul came in looking to make a statement in the final game against his former team. Two nights after recording a season-high in a win over the Trail Blazers on Saturday, the ex-Rocket scored 27 of his 28 points in the first half, to go along with seven rebounds and three steals in the win.
Unlike the Rockets’ second-unit who only scored two points in the second half, the Thunder received a tremendous boost from their reserves, as Schroder came off the bench to register 23 points while shooting 56 from the field, 42.8% from behind the arc.
Following the loss, the Rockets will look to end their four-game losing skid on Wednesday, in a Western Conference showdown against the Denver Nuggets. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. CT.