HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden scored 35 points and the Houston Rockets overcame 51 points from Russell Westbrook in the highest-scoring triple-double in playoff history, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-111 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round Western Conference playoff series.
Westbrook set a franchise playoff scoring record and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds in the most points ever scored in a postseason triple-double.
With 51 points, Westbrook achieved the distinction of the highest scoring total ever in an National Basketball Association playoff triple-double.
But the Rockets contained him long enough in the fourth quarter to surge ahead, then hold on, as Westbrook shot 17-43 from the field (including 4-18 in the fourth quarter), and just 2-11 from three.
In Game 1 of this highly-anticipated series between OKC and Clutch City, the Rockets beat the Thunder at their own game. The Rockets also got 15 points from guard Patrick Beverley, who provided some late heroics as Houston went on a 10-0 run to take a 114-104 lead with 1:22 remaining. But Oklahoma City is still looking for more from its supporting cast offensively and defensively. The Thunder had missed seven straight shots when Westbrook got them back on track with a layup with about eight minutes left. He had 22 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists at the intermission, and the Rockets needed a lengthy stretch of Harden free throws just to maintain a workable margin. To be fair, Roberson solidly guarded James Harden for most of the night, helping the Thunder lead by as many as 15 in the first quarter and 12 in the third.
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The Thunder led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but Houston had cut the lead to 68-62 at halftime.
Victor Oladipo had 11 points, but went 4-for-14 shooting and just 1-of-7 from deep. The Bucks' young players should be more comfortable at home, where Giannis Antetokounmpo has averaged almost three points more per game than on the road.
Rockets: Houston has won five in a row over Oklahoma City including regular-season games.
Oklahoma City has basically chose to mirror Harden's minutes with shooting guard Andre Roberson's minutes. He is one of just four players since 1993-94 to score at least 20 points off the bench at least 30 times in a season.