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Thunder advance in win over Rockets
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant scored 27 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder moved into the second round of the playoffs with a 103-94 win over the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.
Kevin Martin added 25 points for the top-seeded Thunder, who captured their Western Conference quarterfinal series in six games.
The Thunder will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals starting Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City.
The fifth-seeded Grizzlies finished off the Los Angeles Clippers in six games, winning at home Friday, 118-105.
Never before has a team rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA playoff series. The Rockets were halfway to accomplishing the task after winning two straight, but failed to hold a double-digit lead Friday night.
James Harden totaled 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Houston, which also received 25 points from Chandler Parsons. Omer Asik had 13 points and 13 rebounds, but the Rockets blew a 10-point third quarter lead.
"In that fourth quarter with about seven minutes left we were just stagnant. We couldn't get any movement or make any shots," Harden said.
The Thunder had a one-point lead going into the final quarter and clamped down defensively by holding the Rockets to 6-of-19 shooting over the final 12 minutes.
"Our turnovers hurt us and our lack of movement," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.
The Thunder scored 23 points off 16 Houston turnovers.
Oklahoma City managed to hold on to the win the series without a key cog in their offense. Russell Westbrook had surgery on his right knee to repair a torn lateral meniscus on April 27 and is out the remainder of the playoffs.
Reggie Jackson filled in nicely Friday with 17 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
"He's a guy that can continue to lead us as the playoffs go along," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "When we brought him in Reggie became a better player. The guy laid everything on the line."
A pair of free throws from Harden boosted Houston's lead to 72-62 with 5:48 left in the third quarter.
The Thunder bounced back with a 16-3 burst. Jackson's layup, off a feed from Durant, gave the visitors the lead. Durant then capped the flurry with a short jumper for a 78-75 edge with 1:09 left in the quarter.
Harden hit a turnaround jumper to close the period, but OKC used a big spurt early in the fourth to take command. A 12-2 burst increased the margin to 92-81 with 8:12 remaining. Nick Collison ended the run with a layup, during which Durant and Derek Fisher drained 3-point shots.
The lead reached as high as 15 with 4 1/2 minutes left following a dunk from Martin.
"We made some really good plays, some game-changing plays in the fourth, especially on defense," Durant said.
After giving up the game's first four points, Houston scored 15 in a row and led 29-26 after 12 minutes.
Oklahoma City scored 10 in a row early in the second for a 36-31 edge. The Thunder held a 58-54 lead at the half.
The Grizzlies beat the Thunder in two of the three meetings this season ... The teams met once before in the playoffs, with the Thunder winning in seven games in 2011 in the West semifinals ... The Rockets were without forward Carlos Delfino, who is going to miss the remainder of the playoffs after a CT scan performed Thursday revealed a bone fracture in his right foot that will require surgery ... Durant has recorded at least 20 points in 32 straight playoff games. Michael Jordan is the last player to record a longer such streak in postseason play (47 games from May 1996 - June 1998) ... Houston guard Jeremy Lin didn't start due to a chest injury and he scored three points ... The Rockets went 14-of-32 from 3-point range ... Harden played despite dealing with strep throat.
05/04 01:28:46 ET
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