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(Monday, April 29th)
Final Score: Houston 105, Oklahoma City 103
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - James Harden had an off night, but Chandler Parsons picked up the slack.
Parsons tallied 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the Houston Rockets' 105-103 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of this Western Conference first-round series.
Parsons has seen his point total increase with each passing game. After scoring just nine points in Game 1, Parsons responded by going for 17 and 21 points, respectively, in Games 2 and 3.
Harden was held to 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting and turned the ball over 10 times for the Rockets, who avoided elimination and trail the best-of-seven set 3-1.
"That was a gutsy win," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. "We're not going to lie down. The one constant has been their willingness to scrap and fight. We kept on fighting."
Kevin Durant netted 38 points on 12-of-16 shooting for Oklahoma City, which will host Game 5 on Wednesday as it attempts to close out the series.
"We're up 3-1 with a good opportunity to close it out at home. We couldn't ask for a better situation, so hopefully we'll get the job done," Durant said.
The Thunder appeared to cut a six-point deficit to three with 2:50 left after Derek Fisher swished a left wing 3-pointer with the shot clock running down. After a stoppage of play following a Reggie Jackson foul on Parsons, the triple was reviewed and overturned.
Parsons then split a pair of free throws before Durant banged home a triple and drove past four Houston defenders for an emphatic slam on OKC's next touch to cut the deficit to 105-103 with 1:13 left.
Harden airballed a right wing trey, but Durant was called for an offensive foul at the other end before Harden was unable to get his step-back jumper from the top of the key to drop with 12.9 ticks to go.
Durant, though, never got a chance to take a final shot.
He got the ball several feet beyond the top of the arc and drove along the right wing against Francisco Garia before picking up his dribble. He asked for the ball back after passing to Jackson, but with time running out, Jackson drove into the paint instead.
"He (Garcia) played good defense," Durant said.
Jackson jump-stopped, but was met in midair by Omer Asik. Jackson double clutched and was unable to get his shot to drop. Serge Ibaka was all alone for the offensive rebound putback, but his shot at the buzzer came up short.
The stunned Ibaka collapsed to the floor in disbelief.
Asik recorded 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Patrick Beverley added 16 points starting in place of Jeremy Lin for Houston, which had 31 points off 22 OKC turnovers.
Lin missed the contest with a bruised chest muscle.
Houston, which trailed by 20 points after a quarter of play in Game 3, led 29-24 after the first Monday after going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Durant, though, scored seven points during a 12-0 Thunder flurry in the second to give them a 43-34 margin a little before the midway point of the frame. The advantage swelled as high as 10 before OKC took a 60-53 advantage into the break.
The Rockets began the third on a 10-0 spurt to grab a 63-60 lead, and a 12-2 surge later in the quarter propelled them to a 10-point cushion. Harden's three-point play began the run and another from Carlos Delfino capped it for an 85-75 Houston advantage with 3:18 remaining in the third.
The Thunder held their collective breath when Durant dove after a loose ball and banged his shooting wrist on the side of the scorer's table a bit later. But he didn't leave the game and sank two free throws shortly thereafter. He then nailed a jumper at the third-quarter buzzer to cut the deficit to 91-84.
Harden was called for a charge with 6:53 to go and headed to the bench with his fifth foul. Jackson's dunk a few moments later pulled OKC within 98-94. Harden checked back in with 3:16 left.
The Rockets haven't been swept since the then-Seattle SuperSonics accomplished the feat during the 1996 Western Conference semifinals ... Durant has netted 20-or-more points in 30 straight playoff games.
04/30 03:11:13 ET
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