NBA: Rockets avoid playoff elimination

Houston, April 30 (IANS) Houston Rockets avoided elimination with a 105-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Chandler Parsons scored 27 points Monday to help the Rockets escape a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven series. Patrick Beverley added 16 points for the team with point guard Jeremy Lin out with a bruised chest muscle, Xinhua reports.

“We felt the pain and frustration from the last two losses … and we didn’t want that to happen for the third straight time,” Parsons said.

A 36-point second quarter provided the Thunder with a seven-point cushion at halftime, but the Rockets outscored the Thunder by 14 in the third quarter.

Deadlocked throughout the fourth quarter, it came down to one final Thunder possession.

Kevin Durant scored five quick points to narrow the Rockets’ lead to two. James Harden missed two shots after that and the Thunder had a last chance.

The Rockets denied Durant the ball, forcing Reggie Jackson into a rushed and contested layup. Serge Ibaka grabbed the offensive rebound but missed from point-blank range at the buzzer.

Durant scored 38 points for Thunder.

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