Parsons, Rockets keep postseason alive
Published: Monday, April 29, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 2:35 a.m.
HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets finally found a way to close out a game in their playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And it allowed them to escape playoff elimination with a 105-103 win over the Thunder on Monday night.
Chandler Parsons played a team-high 41 minutes and had 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Houston avoided a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven series. Patrick Beverley added 16 points with point guard Jeremy Lin out with a bruised chest muscle.
The Rockets led in the fourth quarter of each of the last two games only to end up losing.
"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.
It almost did.
Kevin Durant scored five quick points to cut the Rockets' lead to two. James Harden missed two shots for Houston after that and the Thunder had a last chance.
Reggie Jackson missed a jump shot and Serge Ibaka grabbed the rebound, but missed a layup at the buzzer.
A stunned Ibaka fell to the court after the miss and covered his face with his hands.
Durant scored 38 points in Oklahoma City's second game without injured All-Star guard Russell Westbrook.
The victory kept Houston from being swept in the playoffs for the first time since 1996. Game 5 is Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
"Getting this first win gives us confidence going back to Oklahoma City, and anything can happen," Harden said.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale was proud of his young team's work in getting its first playoff victory.
"That was a gutsy win," McHale said. "We're not going to lie down. The one constant has been their willingness to scrap and fight. We kept on fighting."
Houston scored the first 10 points of the second half to erase a halftime deficit and take a 63-60 lead. Parsons had six points in that span.