Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Rockets down Thunder to earn rare winning streak

Field Level Media
02 Feb 2023, 14:05 GMT+10

Eric Gordon scored a season-high 25 points, rookie Tari Eason recorded his third consecutive double-double and the Houston Rockets topped the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 112-106 on Wednesday.

Houston's Kenyon Martin Jr. proved clutch in the fourth quarter, drilling a 3-pointer and converting a transition dunk to help Houston maintain control.

Martin had 18 points and seven rebounds while Eason paired a career-high 20 points with 13 rebounds, including 12 offensive boards, off the bench. Alperen Sengun (10 points, 12 rebounds) also notched a double-double for Houston, which recorded consecutive wins for the first time since mid-December.

The Rockets were without Jalen Green (calf) and Kevin Porter Jr. (foot).

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 24 points and eight rebounds for Oklahoma City, which lost for the third time in four games. Josh Giddey added 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Tre Mann scored 18 points and hit four 3-pointers off the Thunder bench.

Oklahoma City trailed by 12 points in the first quarter and by nine at halftime, but Giddey knotted the score at 93-93 with 8:04 left in the fourth quarter.

The Thunder erased their halftime deficit with a 14-4 spurt out of the break. Rookie Jaylin Williams tallied seven points during the run, capped by his 22-footer that gave Oklahoma City a 72-71 lead, its first edge since early in the first quarter.

Gilgeous-Alexander later scored seven consecutive points for the Thunder, and his three-point play with 53.1 seconds left gave the Thunder an 86-80 lead that the Rockets sliced to two points by the close of the quarter.

A 9-0 run by Houston early in the fourth quarter produced a 93-89 lead with 9:31 to go after Eason's 3-point play. Giddey knotted the score at 93-93 with 8:04 left with a layup.

Consecutive baskets by the Rockets' Josh Christopher -- one with 7:20 to go and one with 5:55 left -- gave the Rockets a 100-95 advantage.

The Thunder got within two on Gilgeous-Alexander's hoop with 4:17 left, but Houston scored the next five points, including a trey from Martin, to pull away.

--Field Level Media

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