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NBA playoffs: Thunder beat Rockets to win series

Published May 3, 2013 11:08 pm

Western Conference • Durant scores 27 to help eliminate Rockets.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Houston • Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Kevin Martin added 25 to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-94 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night, sending them to the second round of the playoffs for the third straight season.

The Rockets were looking to become just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0.

But the Thunder opened the fourth quarter with a big run to take the lead and cruised to the victory.

Martin finally gave the Thunder someone to take scoring pressure off Durant for the first time since All-Star Russell Westbrook had season-ending knee surgery. He had 21 points by halftime and Westbrook's replacement, Reggie Jackson, helped out by scoring 17.

James Harden, who the Rockets said had strep throat on Thursday, led Houston with 26 points.

Oklahoma City used a 14-4 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to take a 92-81 lead. Derek Fisher and Durant both hit 3-pointers in that stretch. Houston missed six shots, including two layups, and had two turnovers as the Thunder built the lead.

Harden made a 3-pointer after that, but Fisher stole the ball from him on the next possession and Durant took it down and finished with an exclamation point dunk, and Houston didn't threaten after that.

The Rockets' plan of double- and triple-teaming Durant and daring someone else to beat them worked in the previous two games as they cut the deficit to 3-2. On Friday, Martin knocked down shot after shot and had outscored Durant by 12 points by halftime. Houston got 25 points from Chandler Parsons, while Omer Asik had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Houston opened the third quarter with a barrage of 3-pointers. Francisco Garcia sunk one to start the period and Parsons hit three more to help the Rockets build a 68-62 lead with about 71/2 minutes left in the quarter.

The Rockets pushed the lead to 10 points a couple of minutes later before Jackson scored five quick points to get Oklahoma City within 72-67.

That was the beginning of a 10-2 spurt for the Thunder that helped them tie it at 74-all on a putback by Durant with about three minutes remaining in the quarter. Oklahoma City led 78-77 entering the fourth quarter. —

Thunder 103, Rockets 94

FG FT Reb

OK C Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Durant 43:13 11-23 2-2 1-8 6 2 27

Ibaka 26:04 4-13 2-2 3-7 0 3 10

Perkins 4:22 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Jackson 44:30 7-15 2-2 1-7 8 3 17

Sefolsha 24:24 1-5 0-0 0-2 1 4 3

Martin 39:40 7-13 8-8 0-3 3 3 25

Collison 21:56 4-8 2-2 4-9 1 3 10

Fisher 26:31 4-6 0-0 0-4 1 4 11

Liggins 9:21 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 1 0

Totals 240:01 38-83 16-16 9-41 21 24 103

Percentages: FG .458, FT 1.000. 3-Point Goals: 11-27, .407 (Fisher 3-5, Martin 3-5, Durant 3-9, Sefolosha 1-2, Jackson 1-6). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 10 (11 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Ibaka 2, Collison, Durant, Sefolosha). Turnovers: 10 (Durant 4, Jackson 2, Perkins 2, Liggins, Martin). Steals: 9 (Durant 2, Fisher 2, Sefolosha 2, Collison, Jackson, Martin). Technical Fouls: Perkins, 8:51 first Durant, 0:02.8 second.

FG FT Reb

Houston Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Garcia 36:45 4-9 0-0 0-6 5 5 11

Parsons 46:10 8-14 3-4 0-7 3 1 25

Asik 40:44 3-7 7-12 5-13 0 4 13

Beverley 32:41 4-11 0-0 1-3 0 4 8

Harden 43:24 7-22 8-11 2-6 7 1 26

Brooks 10:03 2-3 0-0 1-1 1 0 4

Lin 13:26 1-4 0-0 0-1 0 1 3

Andersn 9:31 1-3 0-0 1-4 0 1 2

Smith 7:16 0-0 2-4 1-2 0 0 2

Totals 240:00 30-73 20-31 11-43 16 17 94

Percentages: FG .411, FT .645. 3-Point Goals: 14-32, .438 (Parsons 6-8, Harden 4-10, Garcia 3-6, Lin 1-3, Anderson 0-1, Brooks 0-1, Beverley 0-3). Team Rebounds: 11. Team Turnovers: 16 (23 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Asik 2, Harden 2, Lin). Turnovers: 15 (Parsons 5, Harden 4, Asik 2, Brooks 2, Beverley, Lin). Steals: 5 (Harden 2, Asik, Beverley, Garcia). Technical Fouls: Garcia, 8:51 first Defensive three second, 1:51 second Asik, 0:02.8 second.

Oklahoma City 26 32 20 25 — 103

Houston 29 25 23 17 — 94

Attendance • 18,357. Time • 2:31.