Rockets dialed in again, drop Thunder for 16th straight victory


Earlier this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder had Houston's number.

Paul led the way with 25 points, hitting 5-of-6 from 3-point territory, and James Harden added 23 points and 11 assists.

The media voted Westbrook MVP even though the Thunder only won 47 games; then Westbrook was a chucking disaster (38% FG shooting; 26% 3FG shooting) in a 1st round playoff loss to the Rockets.

Kevin Durant had 19 points with Klay Thompson 18 and Draymond Green 16 to maintain the reigning National Basketball Association champions' pursuit of Houston.

The young guard, who's celebrating his 24th birthday Tuesday, finished with a classic Marcus Smart line: seven points on 2-of-7 shooting - along with four assists, a plus-4 rating and a mind-boggling ninja flip. "We know they'll put us in pick-and-rolls, make sure you're on point with that". Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Thunder with 19 points followed by Russell Westbrook with 14 points.

On Tuesday evening, a reminder surfaced when Anthony surpassed Jerry West for 20th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

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Andre Iguodala threw down dunks on consecutive possessions to cap a 28-9 burst bridging the third and fourth quarters and Golden State pulled away from pesky Brooklyn for a victory in Oakland.

After the Thunder needed overtime to beat a tanking Dallas team last week, Russell Westbrook made a point of the strong wins in OKC's past. Rajon Rondo added 13 points and nine assists, Nikola Mirotic scored 13 and E'Twaun Moore added 10 points and nine rebounds. He briefly left after banging bodies with DeAndre Jordan going for a rebound. After an empty possession by Milwaukee, Paul sank two free throws to seal the win. Kyle Lowry and DeRozan stayed on the sideline for much of the fourth quarter. He returned wearing extra padding and poured in 19 points in the third quarter.

Paul George had 17 points while New Zealand's Steven Adams chipped in with 16. You can't have two officials in a professional game.

His shot at the basket came up short, but to have him on the court at the end of the game shows the confidence coach Erik Spoelstra has in the veteran. Along with Paul's 25 and Harden's 23 points, the Rockets had five other players score in double figures.

Anthony, 33, is averaging 16.9 points per game this season - a career-low mark by nearly four points a game.

Damian Lillard put on another display of offensive fireworks, propelling host Portland past NY.