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Oklahoma City Thunder drop pivotal road contest, 137-125 to hot-shooting Houston Rockets

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Westbrook triple-doubled, but Houston rode a 79-point first half to victory

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Plagued by Houston’s unyielding first-half surge, the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder fell 137-125 to Mike D'Antoni's Rockets.

In a "make-or-miss" league, occasionally games occur when an opponent’s makes reach an inordinate amount. This afternoon, such was Oklahoma City's fate as Houston buried 20-39 3PA, while shooting 63/51/81 overall.

Though OKC’s rotations lagged, one gets the feeling that even a stringent Thunder defense would have proven ineffective opposite the Rockets’ myriad deep three-point baskets.

Russell Westbrook’s (39 pts, 13 ast, 11 reb) 36th triple-double paled before Lou Williams (31), Trevor Ariza (24), Eric Gordon (24) and James Harden’s (22 pts, 12 ast) cohesive performance.

Further, Houston’s three-man bench out-scored OKC’s full compliment of reserves 56-50.

While Oklahoma City battled late, the season finale between these potential first-round playoff opponents was already decided by a 79-point Rockets halftime tally.

To summarize, OKC simply appeared as a flat, two-dimensional iteration before a flowing and fully-formed Houston collective.

From their home floor, the Rockets presented seven unsolved two-way riddles before a perplexed Thunder collective that still contested 74% of Houston’s FGA.

Oklahoma City dropped a hard-fought season-series 3-1 to Houston.

As ten games remain on OKC’s calendar, the 41-31 Thunder tenuously cling to the conference’s #6 seed. Meanwhile, #3 Houston (51-31) is essentially locked in behind Golden State and San Antonio.

Houston has now won seven of eight. Oklahoma City is 6-2 during its past eight starts.

Billy Donovan’s crew finishes a Texas-sized back-to-back set tomorrow vs. recent road-block Dallas.