On the penultimate night of the NBA's 2018-19 season, the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder faced off at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Both teams had already sealed a post-season berth for themselves a while back but this game still had a lot on the line - playoff seeding.
Down by as many as 14 early in the fourth quarter, the Thunder outscored the Rockets 27-12 over the last nine minutes of the game, which was capped off with this corner three by Paul George:
The game winner.- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 10, 2019
Listen and watch @YG_Trece pic.twitter.com/DCnC00sDOW
George (8) and Russell Westbrook (13) combined to score 21 of the Thunder's 27 points in their comeback.
Westbrook finished with his 33rd triple-double of the season with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in 37 minutes of action. On the other hand, George finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.
😤 @russwest44 (29 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST) records his 33rd triple-double of the season as the @okcthunder outlast HOU at home! #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/xR2AjSX94z- NBA (@NBA) April 10, 2019
For the Rockets, James Harden had 39 points in 37 minutes to wrap up a historic regular season for the reigning MVP.
With 39 points tonight, James Harden has recorded 57 30+ point games this season, the most since Michael Jordan's 59 such games in 1987-88. pic.twitter.com/ThXOO9yL4r- NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) April 10, 2019
Chris Paul, in his 35 minutes, had 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists on 9-of-15 shooting but neither Paul nor Harden could score enough to halt the Thunder comeback. The duo only scored 7 points (5 free-throws for Harden) over the last nine minutes of the game.
The Thunder win means only the first (Golden State Warriors) and the fifth (Utah Jazz) seed in the Western Conference are confirmed heading to the final gameday of the 2018-19 season.
While this was the season finale for the Rockets, the Thunder play on the second night of a back-to-back in Milwaukee against the Bucks, who are reportedly resting Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.
The win in Milwaukee assures the Thunder of the sixth seed whereas a loss could have them as the sixth, seventh or eighth seed based on the results (San Antonio Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Clippers host the Utah Jazz) from the final gameday of the season.
Unlike the Thunder, the Rockets are not in charge of their own destiny. Their seed (second, third or fourth) will depend on whether the Denver Nuggets (host the Minnesota Timberwolves) and the Portland Trail Blazers (host the Sacramento Kings) will win in their respective games.