Key duo combine to help Thunder soar over Rockets

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[January 30, 2016]  (The Sports Xchange) - Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 59 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to an 116-108 victory over the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday.

Durant scored 33 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field and had 12 rebounds and three assists. Westbrook picked up his sixth triple-double of the season with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists.

Center Enes Kanter came off the bench to contribute 22 points and 10 rebounds as Oklahoma City improved to 36-13.

Guard James Harden led the Rockets with 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Forward Corey Brewer added 17 points as Houston dropped to 25-24.

With 6:17 left in the fourth quarter, Thunder forward Kyle Singler completed a three-point play to give Oklahoma City a nine-point advantage. Harden answered with his own three-point play to close gap to 101-95.

Kanter began to take over for the Thunder in the paint. He scored four quick points as Oklahoma City went up by 11. Durant then drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to stretch the lead to 112-98 with 3:25 left.

However, Rockets guard Patrick Beverly knocked down a three-pointer to slash deficit to 11. Center Clint Capela hit one of two from the line and Brewer came up with a fast-break dunk as Houston closed to eight with 1:36 left.

Westbrook was fouled and missed both free throws. Harden made the Thunder pay by hitting two of his own as the Rockets trailed 112-106 with 1:20 left.

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Thunder guard Dion Waiters scored, but Durant fouled Harden on a three-point attempt at the other end. Harden made two of the three foul shots and lead was back to six.

A layup by Kanter pushed the advantage to eight. Harden tried to answer but dribbled away precious seconds before missing a jumper to close out the game.

(Editing by John O'Brien)

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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