Harden played Game 4 win with injured ankle

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Nene scored 28 points on ideal shooting from the field, and the Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round NBA Western Conference playoff series. With 2-0 series leads, they took losses in Game 3 at Houston in the first round, at Portland in the Western Conference semifinals and at Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the second quarter of a first-round NBA basketball playoff game in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 21, 2017.

The Thunder were outscored by 17 points without Westbrook on the floor, but after the game, Westbrook shot down a question to teammate Steven Adams about his team's ineffectiveness once Westbrook heads to the bench. He rebounded his missed second free throw and found Westbrook for a 3-pointer that cut Houston's lead to one point. Regardless of if I go to the bench and Steven is on the floor or if I'm off the floor.

"Don't try to make us go against each other or make it 'Russell and the rest of the guys".

The reporter continued to try to get an answer out of the All-Star guard, but he just fired back with "next question", and Adams never had to answer the question.

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Houston will get its first chance to close out Oklahoma City when it hosts Game 5 at the Toyota Center on Tuesday.

"You have to mentally challenge yourself every year and go out and try to do what's right - putting your body on the line, putting your team on the line and trying to be successful", James said. He set a franchise playoff scoring record and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Thunder lost 115-111 to Houston and are down 2-0 in the first-round playoff series.

He helped the Rockets overcome an off night by James Harden, who finished with 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting.

Westbrook is doing this by himself, carrying the Thunder despite having little to no help around him. They beat the Houston Rockets at home in game three and want to keep that momentum going.

Lou Williams and Eric Gordon also scored 18 points apiece off the bench which these three veteran players combined for 64 of the team's total 113 points. We're in this together.

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Westbrook responded with his first three-point attempt of the game.

There are no injuries to report for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook notched a triple double in the first half as time expired. The Thunder are struggling hugely without Westbrook on the floor against a deeper Houston side, and this loss highlighted that. The Oklahoma City Thunder are shooting 32.1 percent from beyond the arc and 75.7 percent from the free throw line.

It bounced off the rim, but Steven Adams was there to put it back up for the lead. OKC coach Billy Donovan had to take him out before he could re-enter in the last two minutes when off-the-ball fouls are deemed illegal. Gordon's two free throws with 6.2 seconds remaining made it a four-point game.

The Rockets' offense must generate better looks, but more importantly, they must hit their open shots from beyond the arc.

However, if the Rockets want to achieve long-term playoff success (or even escape this series), several role players must step up.

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But when is such a violation called? "It's great", Wade said. "We're moving on", Hoiberg said pregame. Hoiberg used an 11-man rotation in search of something and hit on the seldom-used Isaiah Canaan .

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