Second-half surge lifts Thunder past Nets, Warriors end Rockets’ 9-game win streak

Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined for 56 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Brooklyn Nets 108-96 on Wednesday (March 13) night in their National Basketball Association (NBA) game.

It was the second time this season the Thunder had come from a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat the Nets.

Oklahoma City trailed by as much as 17 early in the second quarter and 10 early in the second half.

Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins served as a facilitator before thriving as a battering ram, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 106-104 victory over the host Houston Rockets.

He posted season-highs in points (27) and assists (seven) to help the Warriors avert a four-game, season-series sweep by the Rockets.

The Warriors, 4-6 over their previous 10 games, snapped the Rockets’ season-best, nine-game winning streak by striking an effective inside-out balance.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 54 points on 20-of-43 shooting, with Thompson tallying 30 and five three-pointers.

James Harden paired 29 points with 10 assists but continued his recent struggles from deep, missing 10 of 12 3-point attempts.

Clint Capela posted 13 points and 13 rebounds but struggled to defend Cousins on the block. Eric Gordon added 17 points for the Rockets.

The Thunder’s comeback against the Nets was not as dramatic as Dec 5 in Brooklyn, when they outscored the hosts by 20 in the fourth quarter to win by two.

This time, the recovery happened in the third quarter, when George snapped out of his recent slump with 12 points.

Oklahoma City scored 38 points in the third after totting up just 42 points in the first half.

The win was the second consecutive and fourth in six games for the Thunder, who are fighting to hold on to one of the top four spots in the Western Conference.

George had taken a bit of a back seat offensively in recent games after struggling from the field – especially from behind the three-point line – by shooting 7-for-35 from three-point range in four games since returning from a left shoulder injury.

Early on, George seemed bothered again by the shoulder injury, even wearing an ice pack on his right shoulder at one point in the first half.

But in the second half, George found his groove and finished with 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting – including 3-for-6 from behind the arc.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double since Feb 28.

It was the 14th game this season where the Thunder won after trailing by double figures.

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 25 points.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Brooklyn and was a rough start to a seven-game road trip for the Nets. Brooklyn will not return home until March 30.

The Nets got off to a hot start, leading 11-1 four minutes into the game as Oklahoma City missed its first eight shots.

The Thunder shot just 29 per cent with five turnovers in the first quarter but finished with only 11 turnovers.

In another game, Atlanta continued their hot play on offence, with John Collins, Trae Young and Alex Len combining for 69 points in a win over visiting Memphis.

The Hawks entered the game as the NBA’s top offensive team since the All-Star Game, averaging 122.5 points.

Collins finished with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season. Young scored 22 points and had eight rebounds.

Len came off the bench to add 20 points and eight rebounds. C.J. Miles sank eight three-pointers and scored 33 points for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley added 20 points and seven assists.


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