Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 40 points and had 10 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets rallied in the second half for a 122-117 victory over the host Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
James Harden, who entered the contest as the NBA’s leading scorer at 38.9 points per game, added 28 points and 10 assists for the Rockets, who have won eight of their last 11 games. Clint Capela finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Paul George had 34 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who lost for only the second time in 16 games at home. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and nine rebounds, while Montrezl Harrell scored 19 points.
An 11-2 burst to open the fourth gave the Rockets their biggest lead at 101-89 after a 3-pointer by Westbrook less than three minutes into the quarter. But the Clippers rallied with a 22-4 run for a 111-105 edge.
However, the Rockets outscored the Clippers 15-2 in less than three minutes to seize control.
The Rockets used a 27-15 run to open the third quarter and close their deficit to 84-81 after a floater by Harden with 3:09 remaining in the quarter. Two free throws by Westbrook and a 3-pointer by Danuel House Jr. with one second left in the quarter gave the Rockets a 90-87 advantage heading into the fourth.
Houston outscored Los Angeles 36-18 in the third. Westbrook scored 11 points and Harden had nine in the quarter.
A 13-0 surge by the Clippers gave them a 57-43 lead after a bucket inside by Harrell with about four minutes left in the second quarter.
Clippers guard Lou Williams, who finished with only six points, was ejected after drawing two technical fouls less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Williams was angered after being called for a foul on Westbrook.
The Rockets extended their streak of at least 10 3-pointers to 84 consecutive contests. They converted 14 of 37 3-pointers (37.8 percent) compared to 16 of 37 (43.2 percent) for the Clippers.