Harden has 37 points, Rockets rout Thunder, Westbrook 118-87

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The Rockets won and won by a lot, 118-87. Westbrook finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in 33 minutes, with an uncharacteristically poor plus-minus rating (minus-25) to go with 9 turnovers. They do have a history, the pair, from back in the 2013 playoffs when Beverley collided with Westbrook's knee and wiped him out for the rest of the playoffs. But Westbrook's individual brilliance doesn't always translate into Thunder victories.

As good as Harden was yesterday he also got plenty of help from a strong supporting cast. Harden was supported by Patrick Beverley, who contributed 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assist.

Houston did so by blending what it does well with negating in part what makes Oklahoma City so potent, excluding its reliance on Westbrook.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan raved about Beverley.

The big Kiwi dropped Patrick Beverley in the third quarter during their National Basketball Association playoffs match.

Stephen Curry added 29. After crashing to the floor, Beverley made all three of the shots he took for eight points. Damian Lillard (34/5/3) and C.J. McCollum (41/8/1) were the focal points on offense for Portland and combined to shoot 28-for-54 from the field for 75 of their team's 109 points.

The second half proved to be nothing but Houston, as they extended their lead every chance they got, not giving the Thunder enough time to even catch their breath. Bev carried the Rockets through a rough first quarter when they came out tight, and it was his intensity and toughness that set the tone for the entire contest.

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Durant, acquired as a free agent after the Warriors' loss to the Cavs in last year's finals, connected on 12 of 20 shots and also pulled down 10 rebounds.

Houston now holds a 1-0 series lead in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.

Beverley did have to go to the locker room in the fourth quarter after taking a series of bumps and bruises in the contest, including an absolutely crushing pick from Steven Adams, but according the Rockets' heart and soul himself, he's likely to be right back out there in Game 2.

Because Oklahoma City was so terrified of the long ball (as many teams have been against Houston), it opened up gaping driving lanes for Harden and drop-off opportunities for Clint Capela, Nene Hilario and others. But Butler overcame a united Garden crowd and led Chicago to the victory, scoring 23 points in the second half.

Playing a day after 22-year-old sister Chyna Thomas was killed in a auto accident in their home state of Washington, Thomas led the Celtics with 33 points.

Thomas led the Celtics with 33 points, hitting a layup with seven seconds left to cut Chicago's lead to 104-102. After a quick visit to the trainer, he calmly made all three free throws. Hopefully the Thunder will make the necessary adjustments, and if nothing else, display true effort for game two this Wednesday.

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