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13 February 2019, 02:07 | Henrietta Morgan
Rockets Iman Shumpert to debut against Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul George led all scorers with 45 points (12-22 FG, 6-14 3pt FG), 11 rebounds and 3 assists for the Thunder, while Russell Westbrook secured his 22nd triple-double of the season (9th consecutive, tying Wilt Chamberlain for the longest such streak in National Basketball Association history) and 126th of his career with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
"I'm not going to make excuses, They played well".
Despite a poor shooting night (8-of-21 FG), Westbrook finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, coming up with two clutch layups down the stretch.
In his Rockets debut, Iman Shumpert's 3-pointer broke a 25-25 tie to end the first quarter, and the Rockets erupted for 42 points in the second quarter, only to match that total in the second half.
Lucky. Those kicks could be extra valuable, too, if George continues playing the way he did on Saturday night. "That's how I was taught the game - just enjoy matchups and have fun with it".
Paul scored 47.5 FanDuel points in the loss.
It's the third time in the past five games the Clippers have come from at least 20 points down to win, with the 28-point rally setting a franchise record.
After committing just two turnovers in the first half, the Rockets had six in the third quarter and collapsed with one-for-nine shooting from behind the arc. After Harden put the Rockets up 112-111 with a running floater as the game clock read 32 seconds, Westbrook gave the Thunder the lead for good with a driving finish of his own, then on the other end forced his former teammate into a hard 27-footer that caromed off the rim.
"They're a good team and they played well", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. We just didn't finish off.
Looking at the betting trends, the Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games, 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a win of more than 10 points and 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. We came out flat the second half for whatever reason.
Still, the Rockets led 86-79 before Thunder guard Dennis Schroder closed the frame with 11 consecutive points to pull Oklahoma City even at 90-all entering the fourth. "It was good. There are a lot of positive things". Abrines appeared in just two games since December 23, sitting out because of undisclosed personal reasons.
Rockets: Houston was outrebounded 53-39. He has a right thumb injury. Burton fouled Harden shooting a 3-pointer, nothing to be ashamed of for a rookie on a two-way contract with just 17 games of National Basketball Association experience.
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