The Oklahoma City Thunder were outshot by the Houston Rockets, but made several clutch plays down the stretch to beat the Rockets 104-100 in Game 6 of their first round NBA Playoffs series, forcing a seventh and deciding game on Wednesday in Orlando, Florida.
Neither team led by double digits but exchanged big runs before the Thunder scored the final six points of the game, the final four at the free throw line to win by four.
The Thunder went on a 16-4 run and led by eight early in the fourth quarter, before the Rockets answered with a 10-0 run to take a five point lead.
That’s when OKC closed the game with a 12-3 run.
It was led by Chris Paul, who hit back-to-back three-pointers to get the Thunder even at 98.
Paul had 28 points to lead the Thunder, while Danilo Gallinari had 25 points and made four three-pointers.
Former Thunder star Russell Westbrook hit a layup to give Houston a 100-98 lead, then Dennis Schroder answered with a layup to tie the game at 100 with a minute to play.
In the final minute, Westbrook air-balled a jumper and threw a pass away for his seventh turnover.
The Thunder got a pair of free throws from Paul and Gallinari to provide the final points.
The Rockets shot 45 percent from the field to OKC’s 43 percent, but Houston committed 22 turnovers and were outrebounded by 10.
Three other Thunder players scored in double figures.
Luguentz Dort had 13 points, Schroder had 12 points but was just 5-for-16 from the field.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 10 points.
The Thunder force the deciding Game 7 in the series on Wednesday at 8:00 pm.
OKC is 2-1 all-time in a Game 7, with their only loss coming in their last Game 7, a defeat at Golden State in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.