THE Thunder overcame a late slip to defeat the Houston Rockets, 115-113, on Friday in Oklahoma City (Saturday, Manila time) to post their first win in these Western Conference playoffs.
Russell Westbrook got huge help from Taj Gison as the Thunder led by as many as 14 but had to hold off a furious late rally by the Rockets to preserve the win.
Oklahoma City trimmed the deficit to Houston, 1-2, in the best-of-seven series.
Westbrook led the Thunder with 32 points, making 11 of 24 field goal attempts.
Gibson was an efficient 10 for 13 and wound up with 20 points.
Andre Roberson and Victor Oladipo had 12 points each, both shooting 5 for 8.
Game Four is on Sunday in Oklahoma City.
James Harden scored 44 on 11 of 21 shooting, while Lou Williams came off the bench to deliver 22 points for the Rockets, who again fielded only eight players.
Ryan Anderson had 18 points and Eric Gordon added 12.