The Houston Rockets hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night. It was the Game 1 of their first-round playoff series and a matchup between two leading candidates for this year's MVP. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are having historic seasons and putting up incredible performances since the season started. It is a matchup of the third and sixth-seeded team in Western Conference. Houston has home-court advantage in this series.

Close game in the first half

Both teams started off well on Sunday night. Oklahoma held a two-point lead after the first quarter 29-27. It was expected to be a high scoring game since both teams like to run and play with pace.

They went back and fourth in the second quarter as Houston took a five-point lead after two quarters of play.

At halftime, it was 59-54 for the home team. Houston managed to pull away in a big third quarter. They scored 30 points in that period and took a commanding 89-74 lead after three-quarters. The Rockets continued to play well and increased their lead to 30 points (110-80) midway through the fourth quarter. The final score was 118-87 for Mike D'Antoni's team that held the Thunder to just 13 points in the fourth quarter.

They shot 49.5% from the field and finished with 21 team assists. Oklahoma City led the NBA in rebounding during the regular season but on Sunday they were outrebounded 56-41.

Harden led the Rockets with 37 points

James Harden was the leading scorer on Sunday night.

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He carried the Rockets to a big win and showed once again why he's considered by many as the MVP this season. Harden finished the game with 37 points and 18 of his game-high 37 points were in the paint on 9-of-13 shooting inside.

He also added nine assists and seven rebounds. After the game, Harden spoke to the media:" As a point guard I have to try to find ways to split the defense. They were switching with the big (man) and taking our 3-pointers away, so I just tried to get to the basket. I try to make the right play every single game." Patrick Beverley added 21 points and 10 rebounds while Clint Capela contributed with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Only three players finished in double-digit scoring for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook led the way with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists but also had nine turnovers. As a team, Oklahoma finished with 15 turnovers. Andre Roberson scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Jerami Grant helped with 10 points and five rebounds for OKC.

Game 2 will be played on Wednesday night in Houston.