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National Basketball Association
Houston 111, Oklahoma City 98
When: 3:30 PM ET, Thursday, August 20, 2020
Where: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida
Officials: #50 Gediminas Petraitis, #8 Marc Davis, #24 Kevin Scott
Attendance: N/A

James Harden had 21 points and nine assists to lift the Houston Rockets to a 111-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday near Orlando.

The Rockets used a big fourth-quarter burst to grab control and take a 2-0 series lead despite once again being without Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder led 80-77 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter before Oklahoma City went cold from the floor and the Rockets caught fire. Houston scored 17 consecutive points, including three 3-pointers by Jeff Green, to take control.

Oklahoma City missed eight consecutive shots during the spree and never came closer than eight points the rest of the way.

After hitting six 3-pointers and scoring 37 points in the series opener, Harden was just 2 of 11 from behind the 3-point line. Luguentz Dort was a big part of the Thunder's success in slowing him down.

After missing the first game with a right knee sprain, Dort returned to the starting lineup and was the primary defender on Harden. In the two games between the teams this season where Dort has played, Harden is a combined 14 of 45 from the floor and 3 of 28 from behind the arc.

But while he wasn't hitting shots most of the game, Harden moved the ball around and kept his teammates involved. Danuel House Jr. added 19 points for Houston, while Green and Eric Gordon had 15 each among seven players in double figures.

After continuing their momentum from Game 1 with a 35-point first quarter, the Rockets' offense struggled in the second.

Houston was just 6 of 28 overall and 2 of 19 from behind the 3-point line in the second quarter.

But the Rockets were still able to stay within striking distance by taking care of the ball, with no first-half turnovers.

Through two games, the Rockets have attempted 108 3-pointers. On Thursday, they hit 19 of 56 from behind the arc.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 31 points. Chris Paul struggled once again, going just 6 of 15 from the floor and scoring 14 points. Paul is 5 of 15 from behind the 3-point line in the series.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Oklahoma City   Houston
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 31 Scoring James Harden 21
Dennis Schroder 5 Assists James Harden 9
Steven Adams 11 Rebounds Danuel House Jr. 9
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 10 Free Throws Made James Harden 9
Steven Adams 1 Steals Robert Covington 3
Nerlens Noel 2 Blocks Robert Covington 1
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Oklahoma City 98 44.3 11-32 17-19 15 48 4 2 14
Houston 111 41.8 19-56 16-18 21 41 3 8 7
Upcoming Games
  • Houston will play their next game on the road 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 at home against Houston. The Thunder have a W/L % of .591 after a win and .643 after a loss.