NBA Game Summary - Oklahoma City at Houston
(Saturday, December 19th)
Final Score: Houston 95, Oklahoma City 90
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Trevor Ariza poured in 31 points and the Rockets fended off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 95-90, on a night Houston lost another player due to injury.
Rookie forward Chase Budinger departed in the second quarter with a moderate right ankle sprain. He'll have an MRI Sunday.
Ariza, who played 47 minutes, also had eight rebounds and six assists. He went 5-of-8 from three-point range. Chuck Hayes chipped in 13 points and 15 rebounds for Houston, which has won the last 13 meetings against the Thunder franchise. Houston's last loss in the series came April 4, 2006 in Seattle.
Luis Scola had 16 points and Shane Battier 13 for the Rockets, winners of two straight games.
"This is a very enjoyable, fun team to play on," Battier said. "We have good guys, guys that want to play hard and want to compete every single night. You'd be surprised at how rare that is in this league."
Jeff Green tallied 21 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who lost for the fourth time in five contests. Russell Westbrook and James Harden each had 15 points. Kevin Durant was limited to 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting.
"It was a physical game," Green said. "It was very competitive, but that's how every game is...Houston is a great team."
With 7:56 left in the half, Budinger drove down the court and went in for a layup when his right foot landed on the foot of Harden. Budinger went down in a heap and remained on the court in pain before being assisted to the locker room.
The Rockets were also missing forward Carl Landry from the lineup Saturday. He was forced to leave Friday night's game in Dallas at the 9:28 mark of the second quarter following a collision with Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki which resulted in damage to five teeth.
Landry was treated Saturday morning by Rockets team dentist Dr. Thomas O'Brien who performed a series of procedures including a root canal and two dental bridges to repair the damage.
Durant's jumper had the visitors within 86-84 with 4:10 remaining, but David Andersen countered with a layup and Hayes added a bucket.
Later, Durant's three-ball brought Oklahoma City within 94-90 with 1:04 left, but the Rockets got a pair of huge offensive rebounds to help them seal the win. A three-point miss from Aaron Brooks, who went 2-of-15 from the field, and a pull-up jumper from Ariza that was off the mark, was followed by a Hayes board. Brooks made 1-of-2 foul shots with 14.4 seconds left.
Houston held a 23-22 edge after the first quarter and widened that margin to 50-40 at the half. The Rockets were ahead by as many as 17 in the third before going to the fourth with a 74-65 cushion.
Andersen had 10 points...Serge Ibaka scored 10 for the Thunder...Houston went 11-of-21 from the foul line.
12/20 01:42:02 ET