Russell Westbrook anchored a late run as the Houston Rockets nipped the Milwaukee Bucks, 120-116, in their second seeding game of the NBA restart on Sunday at the Walt Disney World complex in Orlando (Monday in Manila).
Westbrook had 31 points, eight assists and six rebounds, while James Harden added 24 points, seven assists, seven rebounds, and six steals. Houston has now won both of its seeding games at the "bubble."
Trailing 112-104 with 3:14 left, the Rockets proceeded to outscore the Bucks, 16-4, in the final three minutes of the game to come away with the victory.
Westbrook capped a 9-0 Rockets run with a close-range bucket off a James Harden dime, giving Houston a 113-112 lead with a minute and 41 seconds left. Brook Lopez regained the advantage for the Bucks with 43.1 seconds to go, but Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled Westbrook in the next Houston possession, and the Rockets guard made both charities for a 115-114 lead with 28.5 seconds left.
Off a timeout, Antetokounmpo converted a clutch layup to push Milwaukee ahead, 116-115, with 24 seconds to go, but Westbrook would not be denied. He drew a foul on Khris Middleton just seconds later, and his two free throws put Houston ahead for good.
A turnover by Antetokounmpo led to two free throws by Daniel House that made it 119-116 for Houston, and Khris Middleton missed a triple with under nine ticks left that could have forced overtime.
Antetokounmpo finished with 36 points, 18 rebounds, and eight assists in a losing effort for the Bucks.
Middleton had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Lopez made it three Milwaukee players with double-doubles as he tallied 23 points and 12 boards.
The Bucks shot 48.9% from the field and limited the Rockets to just 39.6% shooting. However, they were undone by their 22 turnovers, which Houston turned to 30 points.
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