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News » Rockets 105, Thunder 94


Rockets 105, Thunder 94


Rockets 105, Thunder 94HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Rockets' balanced scoring was enough to overcome big games by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry scored 21 points apiece and the Rockets extended their winning streak over the Oklahoma City franchise to 11 games with a 105-94 victory over the Thunder on Friday night.

Luis Scola added 19 points and 10 rebounds, rookie Chase Budinger scored 16 and Aaron Brooks added 11 points for the Rockets, who finished with 26 assists.

"We've got unselfish guys on this team," Budinger said. "Nobody on this team is playing for themselves. We are playing together, and everybody has got one goal in mind, and that is to win games."

Westbrook scored 33 points and Durant added 27, but they were the only players in double figures for the Thunder. The duo hit 25 of 47 shots from the field - the rest of the team went 15 for 45.

"They both had good offensive games, but we are all about team," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We didn't get the job done."

The Oklahoma City franchise hasn't beaten Houston since a 104-87 win on April 4, 2006, when the team still played in Seattle. The franchise's last win in Houston came in February 2005.

Westbrook and Durant scored 16 of Oklahoma City's first 19 points in the final quarter to keep the Thunder in it, but never had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.

Jeff Green, who came in averaging 19 points per game, shot 3 for 15 for Oklahoma City. Nenad Krstic, averaging 10 points per game, went 1 for 8 from the field.

Houston forward Shane Battier said the Rockets successfully executed their game plan, limiting ball movement and forcing Oklahoma City's players to beat them off the dribble.

The Thunder had 15 assists and 15 turnovers, and Westbrook and Durant took 26 of their team's 45 shots in the second half.

"Their two guys had big games and if you're not careful, sometimes you can get beat with that theory," Battier said. "But we want to play good team defense and we can do that better when we have more isolations."

Kyle Lowry had eight assists in less than 20 minutes, and Brooks and Ariza each had six for Houston. With Yao Ming sidelined for the season and Tracy McGrady out indefinitely, the Rockets will have to get scoring balance from just about everyone else to compete with most teams.

"It's pretty much going to be like that the whole season," Scola said. "We are going to face challenges every night. One of the challenges is whether or not we are going to be consistent on a daily basis."

Westbrook had seven assists for the Thunder, who trailed 50-45 at halftime.

The Rockets hit 10 of their first 14 shots in the third quarter to push the lead to 73-59. Durant finished a fast break with a one-handed dunk a few minutes later to cut Oklahoma City's deficit to 10, but Landry converted a three-point play to put Houston ahead 80-67.

"They pulled away in the third quarter, they were hitting their shots," Durant said. "They were more aggressive than we were and that is what wins games."

NOTES: Thunder G Shaun Livingston scored two points in his first action of the season. ... The Rockets wore red and yellow throwback jerseys reminiscent of the uniforms they wore when they won NBA titles in 1994-95. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks was a backup guard on the Rockets' first championship team. "That's a great gesture for them to do that for me," Brooks joked before the game. ... Lowry blocked four shots, a career high.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 7, 2009

 

 
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