Harden hits late winner as Rockets clip Warriors

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April 23, 2016
AP Houston Rockets guard James Harden (left) shoots over Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the second half in Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Thursday night in Houston. Houston won 97-96.

HOUSTON (AP):

Houston's James Harden scored 35 points, including the game-winner with 2.7 seconds left as the Rockets capitalised on Stephen Curry's absence to beat Golden State 97-96 on Thursday, narrowing the deficit in their NBA first-round play-off series to 2-1.

The other two series contested Thursday also stand at 2-1 as Oklahoma City comfortably beat Dallas, and Toronto won at Indiana.

The game at Houston built to a late climax as Shaun Livingston stole a pass from Trevor Ariza to create Ian Clark's lay-up, which put Golden State up by a point with 10.6 seconds left.

Harden then took it to the other end and stepped back for the jump shot to win it.

Golden State had a chance to win it after that, but Draymond Green dribbled the inbounds pass off his foot and out of bounds.

13 rebounds

Marreese Speights came off the bench to lead the Warriors with 22 points and Klay Thompson had 17.

Dwight Howard added 13 points, 13 rebounds, and had two blocks for Houston.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant bounced back from the worst shooting game of his play-off career with 34 points, which led the Thunder to a 131-102 victory over Dallas.

Dirk Nowitzki played despite a right-knee bruise and scored 16 points for the Mavericks, who missed 10 of their first 12 shots from 3-point range.

Russell Westbrook scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half and had 15 assists.

Toronto's DeMar DeRozan rebounded from his post-season shooting slump, and he and Kyle Lowry scored 21 points to lead the Raptors to a 101-85 win at Indiana.

Indiana were led by Paul George, who had 25 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Rookie Myles Turner scored 11 of 17 points in the second half.

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