Harden leads Rockets past Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- James Harden scored 19 points, and the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 69-65 on Sunday night for their third consecutive victory.
Dwight Howard had 12 points and nine rebounds for Houston, and Patrick Beverley added 12 points and eight boards.
Both teams shot below 30 percent from the field.
With the score tied at 65, Harden hit a 3-pointer with Jeremy Lamb in his face with 1:19 to play. With Rockets still leading 68-65, Harden missed another contested 3 against Lamb, giving the Thunder a chance to tie.
Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson missed a deep 3-pointer, and Harden made one of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left to put the game away.
Jackson had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder. Lance Thomas also had 15 points.
The Rockets led 42-33 at halftime despite shooting just 34 percent from the field.
Oklahoma City blocked 11 shots for the team's highest total in a half since moving from Seattle for the 2008-09 season. Steven Adams had a career-high six blocks before the break, but the Thunder couldn't take advantage because of 25 percent shooting.
Thomas' long jumper gave the Thunder their first lead at 51-49 late in the third quarter, but Harden's two free throws with 3.1 seconds left tied it at 51 heading into the fourth.
Nick Collison was called for a Flagrant-1 foul against Howard. He made one of the two free throws, and then Francisco Garcia made a 3-pointer to give the Rockets a 55-54 lead, and the game was close the rest of the way.
Rockets: Beverley started after sitting out the previous four games with a strained left hamstring. ... The Rockets held the Thunder to 22 percent shooting and no points in the paint in the first quarter. ... Beverley made a tip-in with less than a second remaining in the first half.
Thunder: Exactly one month after surgery on his broken right foot, F Kevin Durant put up some shots during pregame warmups. Coach Scott Brooks said Durant is getting to the point where he can shoot off his toes. ... Brooks said F Perry Jones (right knee contusion) and F Mitch McGary (left foot fracture) are still not ready to return. ... Adams took a blow to the head in the third quarter, but he returned in the fourth.
Rockets: Visit Memphis on Monday.
Thunder: Visit Utah on Tuesday.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .