Kevin Durant drops 27 points as Thunder ousts Rockets in six games

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Oklahoma City, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Kevin Durant made 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Kevin Martin added 25 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-94 victory over the Houston Rockets, closing the series 4-2.

They will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round.

Martin finally gave the Thunder someone to take scoring pressure off Durant for the first time since All-Star guard Russell Westbrook had season-ending knee surgery. He had 21 points by halftime.

Reggie Jackson helped out with 17 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and just two turnovers. Derek Fisher finished with 11 points, four rebounds and two steals, hitting some huge 3s from the corners late in the game, and providing stifling defense on James Harden.

Houston led by five points late in the first quarter before Oklahoma City used a 12-2 run, with Fisher and Martin making consecutive 3s to take a 36-31 lead about nine minutes before halftime.

Martin made a pair of free throws to finish his big first half before Harden knocked a 3-pointer to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 58-54 at halftime.

Houston opened the third quarter with a 3-pointers by Francisco Garcia and Chandler Parsons hit three more to help the Rockets build a 68-62 lead with about 7 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.

The Rockets pushed the lead to 10 points before Jackson scored five quick points to get Oklahoma City within 72-67. It was tied at 74 on a putback by Durant with about three minutes remaining in the quarter.

Oklahoma City led 78-77 entering the fourth quarter and used a 14-4 run to take a 92-81 lead with Fisher and Durant both hitting 3-pointers in that stretch. Houston missed six shots, including two layups, and had two turnovers as the Thunder built the lead.

Harden made a 3-pointer after that, but Fisher stole the ball from him on the next possession and Durant finished with an exclamation-point dunk, and Houston didn’t threaten after that.

It was the 32nd straight playoff game with Durant scoring more than 20 points, the fourth highest streak in the last 40 seasons. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan have longer stretches.

Harden led Houston with 26 points, followed by Parsons with 25, while Omer Asik had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Jeremy Lin had just three points while key reserve Carlos Delfino didn’t play due to a right foot fracture.

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