National Basketball Association
Houston 114, Oklahoma City 80
When: 6:30 PM ET, Saturday, August 29, 2020
Where: The Field House, Orlando, Florida
#71 Rodney Mott, #42 Eric Lewis, #19 James Capers
James Harden scored a game-high 31 points, Robert Covington made a career playoff-high six 3-pointers and the Houston Rockets welcomed back All-Star guard Russell Westbrook with a 114-80 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series in The Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.
Houston will advance to the Western Conference semifinals with a victory in Game 6 Monday.
Harden shot 11 of 15, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers, while adding five assists. He had little trouble scoring on Thunder guard Luguentz Dort, who gained renown for his rugged defense against Harden in Games 2-4. Dort struggled offensively as well, missing 13 of 16 shots while going 0-for-9 from behind the arc as Houston offered uncontested looks by design.
Westbrook made his return from a right quad strain and posted seven points, six rebounds and seven assists over 24 minutes in his first action of the series. Covington tallied 22 points on 6-of-11 3-point shooting and Eric Gordon chipped in 20 points as part of a strong two-way effort.
The Rockets turned a three-point halftime lead into a blowout victory with a 19-2 run that opened the third quarter.
The Thunder had their slim hopes dashed at the 6:51 mark when reserve guard Dennis Schroder earned an ejection following a confrontation with Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, who was also tossed. Schroder paced the Thunder with 19 points, including 11 consecutive points during the second quarter as part of an 11-3 Thunder run to the lead.
Schroder single-handedly turned a 33-28 deficit into a 39-36 lead with his stretch of dominance. But Harden, Gordon and Covington combined for a 10-0 run that pushed the Rockets back in front, and when Houston opened the second half with an 8-0 blitz, the Thunder had no response.
Chris Paul chipped in 16 points and six rebounds for the Thunder, who received a double-double (12 points, 14 rebounds) from Steven Adams. Oklahoma City shot just 31.5 percent overall and missed 39 of 46 3-pointers.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Dennis Schroder 19
James Harden 31
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 4
Russell Westbrook 7
Steven Adams 14
Jeff Green 10
Darius Bazley 4
||Free Throws Made
James Harden 5
Danilo Gallinari 1
Robert Covington 3
Hamidou Diallo 2
Jeff Green 1
Team Stats Summary
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.