The Houston Rockets went on a 21-2 run spanning the second and third quarters and never were threatened after that in a 114-80 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of their first round NBA Playoffs series in Orlando, Florida.
The loss is the second worst playoff loss in Thunder history, behind a 35-point loss to San Antonio in Game 2 of the 2014 Western Conference Finals.
The Thunder started slowly in the first and third quarters and it was those stretches that cost them the game.
OKC shot just 19 percent from the field in the first quarter and trailed 24-14 after the first period.
The Thunder were down just three at halftime, 48-45, then the third quarter slow start doomed them, with Houston going on a 19-2 run to start the third period.
Midway through the quarter, Dennis Schroder was ejected when he collided with Houston’s P.J. Tucker.
Schroder’s arm made hard contact with Tucker’s mid section and Tucker retaliated by head-butting Schroder lightly from behind.
Both players were ejected and the Thunder never made a run at Houston after that.
Schroder led OKC with 19 points
The Thunder shot 32 percent from the field and were just 7-for-45 from three-point range for 15 percent.
OKC also had 17 turnovers.
Houston made 19 three-pointers and were led by 31 points from James Harden.
Former Thunder star Russell Westbrook made his series debut but scored just 7 points and was 3-for-13 from the field.
Three other Thunder players scored in double figures with Chris Paul scoring 16 points.
Steven Adams had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Darius Bazley had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Thunder trail the series three games to two, and Game 6 will be played on Monday, with the tipoff to be determined.