Kevin Durant added 24 points for the Thunder, who have won two in a row and four of five overall. D.J. White chipped in with 12 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, which got 11 points apiece from Serge Ibaka and Nenad Krstic.
“Well I thought that this was a good win for us and I understand Houston is down a few pieces but I thought we came out and shot the ball well and in the second half I thought we really did a good job defending,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. “It was good to see D.J. (White) get in there and mix it up and have some success, he has worked his tail off for a long time for us.”
Luis Scola finished with 26 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who have lost two straight games. Kevin Martin tallied 19 points.
The Rockets scored the first points of the game on Scola’s hook shot, but the rest of the game belonged to the Thunder. Krstic capped an ensuing 10-0 run with a layup.
Oklahoma City maintained its margin and took a 28-23 edge into the second quarter.
Courtney Lee tied the game at 30-30 with a three-pointer in the early stages of the second. The Thunder responded with a 13-2 run, which Durant capped with a three-point play for a 43-32 lead with under seven minutes remaining.
The home team held a 64-53 margin at the break.
Ahead by nine, 83-74, late in the third, the Thunder went on an 11-3 run to essentially put the game away. White’s slam made it 94-77, but Scola made a jumper to make it a 15-point game heading to the fourth.
Houston never got closer than 14 in the fourth.
“We just didn’t do as well in the first half. They’d kill us on the boards, then we’d turn it over 13 times,” Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. “Along with those two things, I don’t know what they had. They had about 18 more shots than we did in the first half. You know, it’s almost 30 points off those two situations. We don’t have the margin of error to have that happen, and expect to win.”
The Rockets took three of four meetings with Oklahoma City a year ago and have won 20 of the last 24 contests in this series…Houston forward Chase Budinger (left ankle) missed the game…The Thunder were without forward Jeff Green (left ankle)…Oklahoma City shot 50 percent from the field, while the Rockets made 46.8 percent of their shots.