Two of the leading candidates for the 2016-17 NBA MVP award were on display Sunday afternoon. James Harden and the Houston Rockets hosted Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game was televised nationally by ABC, showcasing two of the biggest stars of the current season. When the final buzzer had sounded it was Westbrook with another triple double, but James Harden and Houston with the victory. Here's a look at how the Rockets defeated the Thunder in this NBA game on Sunday in Houston.

OKC & Houston recap

Russell Westbrook recorded yet another triple-double on Sunday. For the game, he finished with a game-high 39 points to go with 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

He was 13-for-24 in shooting from the field and hit three of his nine three-point attempts. Center Enes Kantner came off the bench to finish with 23 points in the loss.

For the Rockets, it was a hot shooting day all around. Houston finished with a 63.3 percent rate of hitting their field goals, connecting on 50-of-79 attempts. In addition, their three-point shooting was red hot, as they hit 20 of the 39 attempted, which was good for 51.3 percent from long range. James Harden finished with 22 points, 12 assists, and five boards. His teammates Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza combined for another 48 points including 10-for-17 three-point shooting.

NBA standings & what's next

The latest win by Houston moved them to 51-22 on the season.

They have already clinched an NBA playoff spot and are sitting at No. 3 in the Western Conference standings. They seem to pretty much have this spot locked up as they are about 5-1/2 games or so back from the Spurs for No. 2, but Utah trails them by seven games for the three spot. Next up for the Rockets will be a home game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night at 8 p.m.

Eastern Time.

As for the Oklahoma City Thunder, this loss puts them at 41-31 for the season. The team has yet to officially clinch a spot in the postseason but is close to doing so. They'll likely achieve that with some wins of their own and losses by Portland, who are trying to snag one of the final playoff spots.

Next up for OKC will be a Monday night game at Dallas against the Mavericks starting at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

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