Westbrook wins first game against Thunder


    HOUSTON. — James Harden scored a game-high 40 points, and Russell Westbrook, playing against his former team for the first time, finished an assist shy of his second consecutive triple-double, but it was the two-way prowess of PJ Tucker that led the Houston Rockets to a 116-112 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

    Tucker had 17 points and nine rebounds, and he regularly assumed the challenge of defending opponents big and small. His corner 3-pointer with 54.8 seconds left provided the Rockets the six-point cushion they needed down the stretch.

    Westbrook finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists while Harden added seven assists. Harden made 21 of 22 foul shots. Tucker was 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts. Clint Capela contributed 15 points for Houston.

    Dennis Schroder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 22 apiece for the Thunder while Danilo Gallinari added 17. Chris Paul posted 15 points in his return to Houston, and Nerlens Noel also scored 15.

    In other games, it was Detroit 96, Indiana 94; New York 105, Chicago 98; Philadelphia 105, Atlanta 103; Toronto 104, Orlando 95; Milwaukee 129, Cleveland 112; Golden State 134, New Orleans 123; San Antonio 113, Portland 110; Utah 96, Phoenix 95; Denver 101, Sacramento 94; and LA Clippers 111, Charlotte 96.