OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Thunder has figured out how to win without Russell Westbrook – They lock on the defense.
Paul George scored 20 points and Thunder beat Houston Rockets 98-80 on Thursday night for his seventh straight victory.
Westbrook missed his second game in a row with a reinforced left ankle and Thunder has won both. Oklahoma City held Cleveland to 37 percent shoot in a 95-86 victory Wednesday night, then Houston restricted 38 percent firing on Thursday.
George led the defense with six stables.
"We did not get into the evening and thought it would be an offensive blow, where we had to override them at the offensive end," he said. "We will only hold on to defending defense. We have guys who can protect and want to protect. It's just what it is." (Defense) is what we're going to put on our hat. "
Oklahoma City got a lot of help from Houston – Rockets only made 11 of 42 3s. It was the fifth time in seven games as the Rockets failed to make at least 100 points.
"Maybe because all we do is talk about defense 24 hours," Houston coach Mike D & Antoni says. "Our crime is anemic. I mean it's bad. "
James Harden scored 19 points, but scored only 7 out of 19 shots. Clint Capela added 17 points to Houston, who had won three in a row despite his offensive fight.
Houston's Carmelo Anthony, who played for Thunder last season and traded this summer, scored two points at 1 to 11 photography. Chris Paul added 10 points, five assists and six steals.
Steven Adams had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrance Ferguson and Dennis Schroder each scored 14 points for Oklahoma City. All five Thunder Starters made double figures before the end of the third quarter.
The Thunder led 59-45 at half time behind 53.8 percent shooting. During the second quarter, George made all five of his shot and scored 14 points. Oklahoma City held Paul and Anthony pointless before the break.
Jerami Grant dunked on a lob from Schroder and made it free to foul to put Oklahoma City up 80-60, a score that ran until the end of the third quarter. The thunder crossed in the fourth.
"I do not know if we just suck because we do not believe what we are – I do not know," D & Antoni said. "We have to find the answers."
Rockets: G Eric Gordon missed his third straight game with a tense muscle in his right thigh. … Anthony was mostly cheered when he checked into the game for the first time in the first quarter. … Reserved 1 out of 11 shots in the first half. … Paul was called for a technical error in the fourth quarter.
Thunder: Ferguson, a 6-foot-7-guard, came out of nowhere to matter 7-footer Isaiah Hartenstein during the first quarter. … Did 27 of 44 shots inside the 3-point line but 9 out of 37 beyond the bow. … Outrebounded Rockets 52-39. … George had 11 returns and six assistances.
Adams, to defend Houston's outer shot: "We knew they were going to put up a lot of three. They are a 3-point shooter team. The whole game was trying to get so many races and we did. compete, mate. We did a great job to really get there and get them in an uncomfortable position. "
Houston's reserves shot a combined 6 to 27 from the field and only made 3 of 18 3 pointers. Oklahoma City's reserves shot 8 to 21. Point guard Raymond Felton led the way by 10 points.
Rockets: At San Antonio on Saturday night.
Thunder: At Dallas on Saturday night.
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