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Thunder win, hold Rockets to 19 points in second half
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder didn't just ratchet up their defense following a woeful first half, they shut the Houston Rockets down.
Kevin Durant had 36 points, seven assists and five rebounds and the Thunder pulled away from the Rockets, 104-92, on Thursday night.
"Our defense was the reason we won this game. We had to stay disciplined. Everyone played hard," Durant said.
The Rockets led 73-59 at the break after going 12-of-20 from beyond the arc, but missed all 14 of their 3-point attempts over the final 24 minutes while tallying just 19 points.
The minus-54 point differential is the largest between halves in NBA history.
"We did not have the pace that we had in the first half," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. "We just couldn't sustain our pace in the second half."
No team has registered 70-plus points in the first half and followed with 25- or-fewer in the second half since the Seattle SuperSonics on Dec. 21, 2001.
Reggie Jackson added 23 points and six steals for the Thunder, who had lost three of their previous four games coming in.
James Harden recorded 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds against his former team for Houston, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Terrence Jones chipped in with 16 points and 13 boards in defeat.
A Chandler Parsons layup pulled Houston within 90-89 midway through the fourth, but OKC countered with a 13-3 run.
Jackson had seven points during the surge, which was capped on his windmill dunk while on a fastbreak for a 103-92 Thunder advantage with 1:18 left.
OKC led 36-32 after a quarter of play, but Houston outscored the Thunder 41-23 in the second to take its 14-point cushion into the locker room.
Durant's 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer tied the game at 83-83.
Durant was just 8-of-21 from the field, but was 18-of-20 from the foul line ... Houston shot 56.5 percent (26-of-46) in the first half, but just 19.4 percent (7-of-36) in the second half.
01/17 01:43:07 ET