Westbrook triple-double sinks Rockets as Thunder hit back, Celtics beat Bulls

Updated: 

The Oklahoma City Thunder reduced their series deficit against the Houston Rockets thanks to Russell Westbrook, while the Boston Celtics also pulled a game back in the playoffs after downing the Chicago Bulls.

Trailing 2-0 in the first-round Western Conference series, All-Star Westbrook posted a triple-double as the Thunder overcame the Rockets 115-113 in a thriller in NBA on Friday.

Rockets guard James Harden had the chance to win game three with a three-pointer but missed as time expired in Oklahoma City.

Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas came up big for the Celtics, who eased past the Bulls 104-87.

Horford scored 18 points and Thomas had 16 points as top seeds the Celtics made it 2-1 in the Eastern Conference series, after dropping the first two games.

The Los Angeles Clippers, meanwhile, took a 2-1 series lead in the west after holding on to beat the Utah Jazz 111-106.

 

WESTBROOK TRUMPS HARDEN

In another battle between the two MVP candidates, Friday's honours went to Westbrook.

Westbrook had 32 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his second successive triple-double and the seventh playoff triple-double of his career.

Harden finished with 44 points in the road defeat.

 

CELTICS NEEDED A RESPONSE AND THEY GOT IT

With their backs against the wall, the Celtics finally got on the board in the playoffs.

Thomas, who left Boston after game two and spent time with his family in Washington State in the wake of his sister's death in a traffic accident last Saturday, re-joined the Celtics in Chicago. And despite the heavy emotional toll of the past week, he looked great on seven-of-18 shooting and dishing out nine assists.

The Bulls appeared to come out flat, almost certainly feeling the loss of Rajon Rondo with a fractured thumb. Chicago were led by Dwyane Wade (18 points) and Jimmy Butler (14 points).

 

BIG NIGHTS FOR WESTBROOK AND PAUL

 

PAUL INSPIRES CLIPPERS

Chris Paul put up 34 points for the Clippers in Salt Lake City.

Paul helped spark a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter as the Clippers moved ahead of the Jazz in the Western Conference series.

Gordon Hayward had a career-high 40 points but it was not enough for the Jazz.

 

WARRIORS SEEKING 3-0 LEAD

The Golden State Warriors boast a 2-0 series lead as they prepare to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. The San Antonio Spurs meet the Memphis Grizzlies again. The Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors are in action again.