Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes up for a shot as Oklahoma City Thunder's Andre Roberson defends during the first half in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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James Harden scored 34 points and the Houston Rockets withstood a furious effort from Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook to oust the Thunder from the NBA playoffs Tuesday.The Rockets beat the Thunder 105-99 to win their best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series four games to one.Rockets reserve Lou Williams scored 10 of his 22 points early in the fourth quarter as the Rockets responded to a sensational third quarter from Westbrook, who carried his team to a 77-72 lead going into the final period.Williams opened the fourth with two free throws, and added three more from the line along with a 3-pointer as the Rockets regained the advantage with Westbrook on the bench – and they held on even after Westbrook re-entered the game as the Thunder missed a string of shots.Westbrook finished with 47 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, but connected on just two of his 11 shots in the final period.In the second round the Rockets will face either the San Antonio Spurs or Memphis Grizzlies.
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