The Rockets won their 16th straight game Tuesday night, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-112 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The 16 game win streak is the second longest in franchise history, six wins shy of the record set in 2008, and gives the Rockets their 50th win of the season, keeping them a half game up on the Golden State Warriors for the NBA’s best record.
Houston led 26-24 after the game’s first 12 minutes, but Oklahoma City started the second with three-pointers from Corey Brewer and Raymond Felton to take a four-point lead. The Rockets scored the game’s next 12 points and never trailed again.
With 3:05 left before halftime, following Oklahoma City’s 11th turnover of the game, Trevor Ariza connected on a 3-pointer to push the Rockets lead to 14, though that lead was cut to nine at the break. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 19 points, while Russell Westbrook scored 14. James Harden led Houston with 13.
Both teams went back and forth for the first couple of minutes of the third quarter, but after Ariza canned another triple with 9:36 left to put the Rockets up 10, the Thunder responded and clawed back into the game.
Anthony hit a three, Westbrook drained a 12-footer, then Josh Huestis banked home a shot from downtown to bring the Thunder within two, but that’s as close as they’d get. On the Rockets ensuing trip, Chris Paul received a pass from Harden and drained a three to make it a five point lead. Oklahoma City got within three a couple of times after, but the Rockets scored eight in a row to get the lead back to double digits and it stayed that way until the game’s last couple of minutes when the Thunder pulled to within eight.
Westbrook was the game’s high-scorer with 32 points, while Anthony gave the Thunder 23. He only made one shot after halftime.
Paul led the Rockets with 25 points, he hit on 5-of-6 from behind the 3-point line, while Harden scored 23 on 8-of-13 shooting with 11 assists.
The Rockets will be back in action Wednesday night, when they’ll look for their 17th straight at the Milwaukee Bucks.