The Oklahoma City Thunder were outscored 39-18 in the third quarter, and it proved to be the difference in a 116-112 loss to the Houston Rockets and former Thunder star Russell Westbrook on Monday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The Thunder outshot, outrebounded, and had fewer turnovers than Houston but still lost the game, with Westbrook nearly recording a triple-double, while another former Thunder player, James Harden, led Houston with 40 points.
Westbrook had 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists, while Harden got more than half his points at the line, making 21 of 22 free throws.
The Thunder led by as many as 15 in the first quarter, and led by ten at halftime, 62-52, before the third quarter changed the complexion of the game.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder led the way for OKC with 22 points apiece, while Danilo Gallinari had 17 points and Chris Paul 15.
The Thunder made 13 three-pointers, and held the Rockets to just 10-for-44 from beyond the arc.
OKC outshot Houston from the field, 43.6 percent to 43.3, and outrebounded them 52-40.
The Thunder’s bench outscored Houston’s 52-14.
The Thunder fall to 1-3 on the season.
OKC returns home to host Portland on Wednesday night at 7:00 at Chesapeake Arena.