The Oklahoma City Thunder (25-19) did it again as they rallied from a 17-point deficit against the Houston Rockets (26-16) on Monday afternoon to win 112-107.
The Thunder got off to a rough start against the Rockets as starting center Steven Adams took a tumble when he got tangled up with Houston center Clint Capela. Adams hit the ground hard, Capela was whistled for the flagrant foul, and Adams missed both free throws before limping back to the locker room.
OKC was able to survive without Adams, at least for a little while, as they surged to a 20-10 lead before the Rockets ended the period on a 15-2 run to take a 25-22 lead into the second quarter.
Danuel House Jr. hit a 3 for the Rockets to open up the period and push Houston’s run to 18-2, but the Thunder answered with a 14-4 run of their own to retake the lead at 36-32. It didn’t last for long, though, as the Rockets answered with a 16-5 run to take a 48-41 lead with 4:23 left in the first half.
The Thunder answered with yet another run as they outscored the Rockets 9-2 to cut the deficit to 2 at 52-50 with 2:48 left in the quarter. Houston was able to expand their lead a bit behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook combining for 34 points through the first 2 quarters, but Chris Paul’s 27 first-half points kept the Thunder hanging around. At the half, the Rockets led 64-57.
The third quarter was a problem for OKC as Houston took advantage of the lack of interior defense by the Thunder. Oklahoma City struggled on offense, but the Rockets had no trouble scoring as they took a 17-point lead with 3:37 left in the period. The Thunder looked helpless on offense, and the Rockets led 87-71 headed into the final frame.
The Thunder came out with a sense of urgency to start the fourth quarter as they were able to cut the deficit to single digits just a couple of minutes into the period. They were able to keep it close, but Houston wanted to put the game away. It appeared as if the Rockets were going to run away with it as they held a 100-85 advantage with 6:50 to play, but the Thunder had other plans.
It took OKC just under 3 minutes to go on a 16-1 run to tie it up at 101-101. At that point, Houston was against the ropes, and the Thunder kept pressing the issue. OKC was able to finish out the game and complete the 17-point comeback to win 112-107.
Headed to Orlando
The Thunder is headed back out on the road. On Wednesday, the Thunder will take on the Orlando Magic (21-23) for the second matchup between the two teams this season. OKC picked up a 102-94 win at home against Orlando back in November, and the Thunder should be able to get another one on the road.
Tip-off for that game is at 6 PM, and it will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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