“This game had a lot of possessions in it because of the way the game was played,” said Kevin Martin. “So we did have a lot of opportunities to get our hands on balls and get some steals.”
Kevin Durant scored 11 of the Thunder's points during that game-changing 16-0 run. Westbrook added three. Thabo Sefolosha chipped in two.
Westbrook set the tone from the start, however, with his early offense and tenacious defense. He scored a game-high 28 points on 11-for-22 shooting — the first time since Dec. 4 that he's shot at least 50 percent from the field — and added eight rebounds and eight assists. He also helped pester Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin into a woeful seven-point, seven-assist, four-turnover night. Lin made just three of eight shots.
Thabo Sefolosha tied his season high with 15 points but made his biggest impact by following Westbrook's lead and clamping down on former Thunder guard James Harden.
Harden scored a team-high 25 points but missed 11 of 17 shots and had four turnovers. In two games against his former team, Harden has averaged 21 points but shot just 27.2 percent.
The win, the Thunder's 23rd in 29 games this season, helped put Harden even further in Oklahoma City's rearview mirror.
“James was really good for us. He's a terrific player. He's an All-Star player,” Brooks said. “He's definitely at that level, and he's going to be that way for many, many, many years. He still has improvement to make in his game and he's really good now. But we never looked at it that way. We looked at it as whoever we have we're going to get better with them and move forward.”