Rockets sink 22 triples in 27-point rout of Spurs in Western Conference semis opener
James Harden sets the tone for the Rockets' Game One rout of the Spurs. AP

THE Houston Rockets hit 22 triples in a 126-99 rout of the Spurs in the opener of their Western Conference semifinals on Monday in San Antonio (Tuesday, Manila time).

Trevor Ariza sank five triples and wound up with 23 points as the Rockets took a step ahead in the best-of-seven series.

Houston led 34-23 in the first quarter then allowed the Spurs only 16 points in the second period.

James Harden scored 20 points and 14 assists, while Clint Capela also scored 20 and had 13 rebounds.

Houston carried a 29-point lead into the fourth, and the Spurs decided to pull their starters before the Rockets followed.

Kawhi Leonard went 5 for 14 and wound up with 21 points and also pulled down 11 rebounds, while Tony Parker and reserve Jonathon Simmons were the only other San Antonio players to score in double figures with 11 points each.

The Rockets shot 22 for 50 from beyond the arc, 40 for 87 overall for 46 percent, while the Spurs shot 36.9 percent, going 31 for 84.

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