On Friday night, former Kansas Jayhawks forward Nick Collison played a key 22 minutes as Oklahoma City defeated Houston, 103-94. Collison scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the Thunder’s series clinching win at Houston.
Next up for the Thunder is a meeting with Memphis, slated to begin on Sunday in a semifinal series for the Western Conference. The Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Clippers also on Friday night in eliminating them. Oklahoma City won the series first three games, before the Rockets climbed back into the series with two straight wins in large part to Thunder’s starting point guard Russell Westbrook going down to season-ending injury. Kevin Durant finally got some help on Friday from his teammates to offset Westbrook’s absence.
Kevin Martin scored 24 points off the bench, Derek Fisher added 11 points and Russell Jackson scored 17. Durant led the Thunder with 27 points in the win. Houston was paced by James Harden who scored 26 points while battling strep throat and Chandler Parsons added 25 points.
The first three quarters of the game was a strong battle as neither team could gain much of an advantage. Then things changed in the fourth quarter for the Thunder as the Rockets began to slow down, and shots failed to fall. Oklahoma City went on a 14-4 run to push their lead to 11 after holding an one-point advantage early in the fourth. From there the lead grew to 15 at 99-84 after a breakaway dunk from Martin at the 4:31 mark.
Houston failed to get any closer as the Thunder managed to wrap up the series. Memphis also has a former Kansas Jayhawk in Darrell Arthur. The backup forward played nine minutes of the Grizzlies win, scoring four points.
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