Thunder spoil Harden’s return to OKC with big win

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Oklahoma City, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Kevin Durant matched his season high 37 points to lead Oklahoma City Thunder past Houston Rockets, 120-98, on Wednesday night.

Serge Ibaka scored 23 points and blocked six shots and Kevin Martin added 17 points for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City took the lead for good with an 18-4 run, including the first nine points of the second quarter, and went up 36-25.

The lead grew to 49-33 after James Harden’s foul allowed Durant to convert a four-point play.

Patrick Patterson scored 27 points and Omer Asik had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way for the Rockets.

Daequan Cook scored 18 points while starting in place of injured Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (shoulder). James Harden contributed 17 points but was limited to 3-for-16 shooting. He had six shots blocked by the Thunder.

Harden missed all eight of his shots from the field in the first half as Houston fell behind 57-45. He also missed his ninth in the second half. By the time he made one, the Rockets were down by double digits in the second half. They never got closer than 10 after that.

The Rockets made a stop in Minnesota earlier in the day to attend the funeral of coach Kevin McHale’s daughter then flew to Oklahoma City, arriving at the arena less than 5 hours before game time.

Acting coach Kelvin Sampson said about half of his players were trying to squeeze in a nap during the afternoon.

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