The Houston Rockets were great at opening halves Friday, but the Oklahoma City Thunder proved to be better at closing them. The Thunder defeated the Rockets in Houston, 103-94, to win their first-round series, 4-2. The Thunder will play the Memphis Grizzlies, who won Friday to end their series with the Los Angeles Clippers, in the second round.
The Rockets got off to quick starts in the first and third quarters. Houston trailed early before a 15-0 spurt put them in the lead. The Rockets went on to shoot nearly 60 percent in the first quarter and led, 29-26, after one.
A big first half from Kevin Martin, however, helped the Thunder's offense get going. Martin scored nine first-quarter points and 12 in the second quarter as the Thunder took a 58-54 lead at halftime.
The Rockets responded in the third quarter, going on an 18-6 run led by Chandler Parsons, who scored nine of his 25 points in that stretch to take an eight-point lead.
The Thunder recovered once again, this time led by Kevin Durant. Durant scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half. Durant and Reggie Jackson scored five points each in a 12-2 Thunder run late in the third to put Oklahoma City back on top.
The Thunder led by one entering the fourth, but broke the game open thanks to a strong defensive effort, a big quarter from Durant and timely shots by Derek Fisher and Nick Collison. Durant scored nine points in the quarter, Fisher knocked down two open threes and Collison finished two plays around the basket while the Rockets struggled shooting the ball.
Martin finished with 25 points, Jackson scored 17 points, Fisher had 11 and Collison and Serge Ibaka each scored 10 for the Thunder.
James Harden led the Rockets with 26 points. Omer Asik scored 13, and Francisco Garcia scored 11.