The Oklahoma City Thunder rallied late in a Game 3 victory over the Houston Rockets.
Nearly a minute into overtime, James Harden committed his sixth personal foul on Lugentz Dort. With Harden disqualified for the rest of the game, the Houston Rockets failed to score another basket until the final seconds of the overtime period.
The Oklahoma City Thunder went on a 15-3 run en route to a 119-107 victory over the Rockets, Saturday night, inside the Arena in Orlando. With the loss, the Rockets lead the Thunder 2-1 in the series.
“We definitely let one get away, especially that last minute,” Harden said after the loss. “I think throughout the course of the game we made too many mental mistakes and gave them too many opportunities to score. It’s just that simple.”
Harden scored a game-high 38 points prior to fouling out at the start of overtime. Most of his points came from the inside, as he struggled from behind the arc shooting 3-for-13 on the night. Right before halftime, Harden sustained a right shoulder injury that appeared to have continuously caused pain the remainder of the game.
The Rockets trailed 92-93 late in the fourth quarter when Jeff Green connected on a 3-point field goal assisted by Harden. Three possessions later, Green put the Rockets up by five with a driving dunk on over Chris Paul.
With a chance to take a 3-0 series lead, Green might have had his best performance since he arrived in Houston in February. He scored 22 points off the bench shooting to go along with seven rebounds and two blocks in the loss.
The Thunder were led by Dennis Schroder, who scored a team-high 29 points off the bench. Paul scored 26 points against his former team, to go along with six rebounds and five assists in the win.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came up huge down the stretch for OKC. He knocked down a clutch 3-point field goal to put the Thunder up 104-103 with 14.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. He finished with 23 points on the night.
“He’s [Chris Paul] a great player and a great clutch player and really thinks about the game,” Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Having said that, we had the game with 24 seconds by a 1-point lead. They executed, we didn’t. Don’t get too high or get too low, it’s one game.”
Nerlens Noel fouled Danuel House in the closing seconds of the game. The Houston native slit both free-throws, leaving the game tied at 104 apiece.
Up next, the Rockets will attempt to take a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Thunder on Monday, Tip-off is slated for 3:00 p.m. CT.
(Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/USA TODAY Sports.)