Rockets clobber Thunder for 2-0 lead
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — James Harden had 21 points and nine assists and the Houston Rockets made 19 of an NBA-record 56 3-point attempts to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-98 on Thursday for a 2-0 lead in the first-round Western Conference series.
Former Thunder star Russell Westbrook was out for the Rockets again with a right quad strain, but plenty of other Houston players picked up the slack. Danuel House Jr. scored 19 points.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points for the Thunder, and Danilo Gallinari added 17.
Oklahoma City dominated the second quarter and led 59-53 at halftime. The Thunder shot 50% in the half. Houston missed its last 15 3-pointers in the second quarter, and Harden scored just eight points on 2-for-10 shooting in the half.
The Rockets went on a 13-0 run early in the second half to regain the lead. Gilgeous-Alexander, who had been cold in the bubble, made three straight 3-pointers to highlight an 11-0 run that put the Thunder ahead again.
The Thunder held on and led 78-77 at the end of the third quarter.
Oklahoma City led 80-77 before the Rockets broke away with a 17-0 run, with just two of the points coming from Harden, the league scoring champion.
Rockets: Made 8 of 16 3-pointers in the first quarter, but just 2 of 19 in the second. … Took 10 shots inside the 3-point line in the opening period. … Harden had five assists in the first quarter. … Did not have a turnover in the first half.
Thunder: G Lu Dort returned to the starting lineup after missing Game 1 with a right knee sprain. He scored eight points in 25 minutes. … Had nine turnovers in the third quarter.
Game 3 is Saturday.
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