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National Basketball Association
Houston 116, Oklahoma City 112
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, October 28, 2019
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Officials: #4 Sean Wright, #45 Brian Forte, #9 Natalie Sago
Attendance: 18055

James Harden scored a game-high 40 points while Russell Westbrook finished an assist shy of his second consecutive triple-double against his former team, but it was the two-way prowess of PJ Tucker that led the Houston Rockets to a 116-112 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

Tucker had 17 points and nine rebounds, and he regularly assumed the challenge of defending opponents big and small.

His corner 3-pointer with 54.8 seconds left provided the Rockets the six-point cushion they needed to survive late treys from Danilo Gallinari, Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Harden sealed the victory via his precision at the free-throw line, going 6-for-6 in the last two minutes.

Westbrook finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists while Harden added seven assists. Harden made 21 of 22 foul shots. Tucker was 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts. Clint Capela contributed 15 points for Houston.

Dennis Schroder and Gilgeous-Alexander scored 22 apiece for the Thunder while Gallinari added 17. Paul posted 15 points in his return to Houston, and Nerlens Noel also scored 15.

Houston erased a 10-point halftime deficit by picking up the pace in the third quarter, frequently attacking early in the shot clock to favorable results. A 12-0 run gave the Rockets a 69-66 lead, with that rally capped by a Harden-to-Westbrook baseline alley-oop. The Rockets shot 5 of 9 from 3-point range in the period, and throughout the period, the Thunder struggled to maintain the tempo.

By outscoring Oklahoma City 39-18 in the third, the Rockets took a 91-80 edge into the fourth.

The Thunder flashed ample energy early even though they were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, racing to a 15-point lead by converting both in the half-court offense and in transition.

The Rockets were sluggish defensively, and it wasn't until the second quarter that they found some juice. Still, despite the inroads made by Harden and Capela offensively, the Rockets had no answer for Schroder on defense, as Schroder posted 18 first-half points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Houston shot just 4 of 25 on 3-point attempts prior to the break and trailed 62-52 at halftime. However, the Rockets did race to 10 fast-break points, setting a tone for their aggression in the third period.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Oklahoma City   Houston
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 22 Scoring James Harden 40
Dennis Schroder 7 Assists Russell Westbrook 9
Steven Adams 12 Rebounds Russell Westbrook 12
Nerlens Noel 5 Free Throws Made James Harden 21
Terrance Ferguson 2 Steals Clint Capela 1
Steven Adams 2 Blocks Clint Capela 3
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Oklahoma City 112 43.6 13-35 17-24 22 52 3 7 15
Houston 116 43.3 10-44 28-33 21 40 6 6 14
Upcoming Games
  • Houston will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Rockets have a W/L % of .500 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.
  • Oklahoma City will play their next game at home against Portland. The Thunder have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .333 after a loss.