National Basketball Association
Houston 123, Oklahoma City 108
When: 6:30 PM ET, Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Where: The Field House, Orlando, Florida
#19 James Capers, #58 Josh Tiven, #11 Derrick Collins
James Harden scored 37 points to lift the Houston Rockets to a 123-108 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series on Tuesday night near Orlando.
Harden shot 12 of 22 from the field and added 11 rebounds.
Without Russell Westbrook for the fifth time in six games, the Rockets had few problems getting going offensively, combining for 76 points in the second and third quarters.
That offense came from some usual suspects, like Harden, and the unusual.
After struggling from the field in the second quarter, going 2 of 7 from the floor and missing all four of his 3-point attempts, Harden turned the corner in the third to help the Rockets extend the lead once again after the Thunder cut what was once a 21-point lead down to 10 four minutes into the third.
But the Rockets finished the quarter with a 26-15 run which included six 3-pointers, three by Harden, to take control for good.
Houston finished with 20 3-pointers, six by Harden.
Eric Gordon, filling in for Westbrook, had 14 of his 21 points in the second quarter.
Jeff Green scored 22 points off the bench while Ben McLemore, making his first playoff appearance in his seventh season, added 14 points.
Houston's bench combined for 42 points, and the Rockets had 25 assists.
When Harden went to the bench late in the first quarter, the Rockets extended their six-point lead to 13 by the time he returned.
Danilo Gallinari led the Thunder with 29 points. Chris Paul, who was traded from Houston to Oklahoma City for Westbrook in the offseason, added 20 after missing all five of his first-quarter shots. Paul also contributed 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Steven Adams had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder.
Westbrook is sidelined due to a strained right quadriceps.
Before the game, Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said Westbrook was healing, but there was no timetable for the guard's return.
"Can't rule anything out," D'Antoni said, "but don't rule anything in."
Thunder rookie Luguentz Dort missed his second consecutive game with a right knee sprain. Terrance Ferguson started in Dort's place and scored six points.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Danilo Gallinari 29
James Harden 37
Chris Paul 9
Danuel House Jr. 5
Steven Adams 12
James Harden 11
Danilo Gallinari 9
||Free Throws Made
James Harden 7
Chris Paul 2
Bruno Caboclo 1
Danilo Gallinari 1
Robert Covington 1
Team Stats Summary
Houston will play their next game at home against Oklahoma City. The Rockets have a W/L % of .644 after a win and .556 after a loss.
Oklahoma City will play their next game on the road against Houston. The Thunder have a W/L % of .591 after a win and .643 after a loss.