The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 20, 2013

Harden scores 46, Rockets rally past Thunder

By Kristie Rieken
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON — James Harden scored a career-high 46 points and Jeremy Lin added 29 as the Houston Rockets mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback for a 122-119 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

Houston was down by 14 points with about seven minutes left. The Rockets used a 21-4 run to erase the deficit and take a 114-111 lead with 1:46 remaining. Harden stepped back under heavy pressure from Serge Ibaka to sink a 3 to tie it, before Lin connected on one seconds later to give the Rockets their first lead of the second half.

Harden, traded from Oklahoma City to Houston before the season, made a bucket before Ibaka made two free throws. Then came another 3 by Lin to extend the lead to 119-113.

A 3-pointer by Russell Westbrook got Oklahoma City within three points, but Lin made one of two free throws to secure the win.

Thabo Sefolosha led the Thunder with 28 points and had six 3-pointers, both career highs. His previous career high was 22, which he reached twice, most recently in 2008.

Westbrook also scored 28 points and added 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Durant had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his second career triple-double.

It was Houston's first win this season over the Thunder, who won both previous meetings, including a 30-point win in the last matchup. The loss extends Oklahoma City's skid to three games.

Harden was 11 of 12 from the free throw line, made a career-best seven 3-pointers, had eight rebounds and six assists.

Lin grabbed a steal from Westbrook and dished to Harden, who made a shot from beyond halfcourt at the third-quarter buzzer to cut Oklahoma City's lead to 92-87 entering the fourth.

The Thunder then extended the lead to 107-93 after Kevin Martin and Sefolosha hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Houston rallied.

Oklahoma City was up by seven points midway through the third quarter when Chandler Parsons scored six points in less than a minute to get Houston within 73-72. He made a pair of free throws before adding consecutive dunks. On the first one, Carlos Delfino stole the ball from Durant and passed to Parsons for the dunk. Lin stepped in front of a pass from Ibaka a few seconds later and found Parsons alone for the two-handed slam.

Oklahoma City was up by eight points with about 1 1/2 minutes left in the first half when Lin was given a technical for arguing a call. Durant made the free throw on the technical to put Oklahoma City's lead at 60-51.

Harden took over after that, scoring all of Houston's points in a 6-2 run to end the quarter and cut the lead to 62-57 at halftime.

Harden made four 3-pointers early to help Houston build a 34-22 lead in the first quarter. Oklahoma City scored seven straight points after that, before Harden added a pair of free throws to lead the Rockets up 36-29 at the end of the first quarter.

Parsons was helped off the court and into the locker room after twisting his right ankle near the end of the third quarter.

He returned with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the game.

NOTES: The Rockets reached agreements on two trades that will send Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas to Sacramento and Marcus Morris to Phoenix, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday. The Rockets will receive Thomas Robinson, the No. 5 pick in last year's draft, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt from the Kings, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced and was still pending league approval. ... Thunder center Kendrick Perkins missed Wednesday's game with a sprained right knee.

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AP Sports Writer Chris Duncan contributed to this report

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Thunder-Rockets,LongBox, BKN

  FG FT Reb
OKLAHOMA CITY Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Durant 41:56 4-13 8-9 0-12 11 2 16
Ibaka 30:32 7-11 2-2 5-7 0 2 16
Thabeet 11:20 2-3 0-0 0-2 0 2 4
Westbrook 41:56 8-20 9-10 3-10 8 3 28
Sefolosha 38:53 11-16 0-0 1-5 3 4 28
Martin 34:54 5-13 3-4 2-3 1 2 15
Collison 17:28 2-3 0-0 1-4 1 6 4
PJones 7:46 0-1 2-2 1-3 0 0 2
Jackson 15:15 3-7 0-0 0-1 1 1 6
Totals 240:00 42-87 24-27 13-47 25 22 119

Percentages: FG .483, FT .889.

3-Point Goals: 11-28, .393 (Sefolosha 6-10, Westbrook 3-5, Martin 2-7, Durant 0-2, Jackson 0-4).

Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 22 (29 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 11 (Ibaka 5, Sefolosha 2, Collison, Durant, P.Jones, Thabeet).

Turnovers: 22 (Westbrook 7, Durant 5, Collison 3, Ibaka 3, Martin 2, Jackson, Sefolosha).

Steals: 6 (Collison 2, Durant 2, Jackson, Westbrook).

Technical Fouls: None.

  FG FT Reb
HOUSTON Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Parsons 35:10 6-15 3-4 2-6 4 3 17
Delfino 42:26 3-12 0-0 0-6 5 5 9
Asik 27:01 3-10 3-4 6-10 0 3 9
Lin 41:51 12-22 2-3 0-6 8 4 29
Harden 44:14 14-19 11-12 2-8 6 2 46
Smith 20:48 4-5 0-0 2-4 1 5 8
Beverley 17:34 0-4 0-0 0-1 1 1 0
Motiejunas 5:21 1-4 0-0 0-2 0 0 2
Anderson 5:36 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 2
Totals 240:01 44-92 19-23 12-43 26 23 122

Percentages: FG .478, FT .826.

3-Point Goals: 15-33, .455 (Harden 7-8, Lin 3-5, Delfino 3-10, Parsons 2-7, Motiejunas 0-1, Beverley 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: 19 (21 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 4 (Asik, Beverley, Harden, Smith).

Turnovers: 18 (Parsons 5, Lin 3, Smith 3, Delfino 2, Harden 2, Asik, Beverley, Motiejunas).

Steals: 13 (Delfino 4, Beverley 2, Lin 2, Parsons 2, Anderson, Asik, Harden).

Technical Fouls: Lin, 1:04 second.

Oklahoma City 29 33 30 27—119
Houston 36 21 30 35—122

A_18,224 (18,023). T_2:22.

Officials_Derrick Stafford, Derrick Collins, Scott Twardoski.