Thunder strike Rockets down

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OKLAHOMA City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (right) drives to the basket as Houston Rockets’ James Harden guards him during their NBA Game on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). AP

AS RUSSELl EQUALS WILT

LOS ANGELES — Russell Westbrook matched a National Basketball Association record with a ninth straight triple-double and Paul George scored 15 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter Saturday as the Oklahoma City Thunder roared back from a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets.

I do other things to impact the game, I do it every single night

Westbrook had 21 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds. His ninth straight triple-double — reaching double figures in three key statistical categories — matched the record set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.

Other matches saw Utah 125, San Antonio, 125-105; Indiana 105, Cleveland, 105-90; Charlotte 129, Atlanta, 129-120; Toronto 104, New York, 104-99; L.A. Clippers 123, Boston, 123- 112; Memphis 99, New Orleans, 99-90; Washington 134, Chicago, 134-125; and Orlando 103, Milwaukee, 103-83.

Westbrook connected on just eight of 21 shots from the field. But his effort was enough to help the Thunder to the win despite a 42-point performance from Rockets star James Harden.

“My game is not predicated on me making shots,” Westbrook said. “I do other things to impact the game, I do it every single night.”

Harden produced 30 points for the 29th straight game — two shy of Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in league history but still a long way away from Chamberlain’s record stretch of 65 straight 30-point games.

Harden made 11 of 28 shots from the field and 14 of 15 free throws, but the streak took a backseat as the game evolved into a fourth-quarter dogfight.

There was a big comeback in Boston as well as the new-look Los Angeles Clippers erased a 28-point second-quarter deficit to stun the Celtics, 123-112.

Montrezl Harrell forced two turnovers and Patrick Beverley hit two three-pointers in the final two minutes as the Clippers completed the biggest regular-season comeback in club history.

Boston players left the court to boos from their home fans. To make matters even worse, Celtics star guard Kyrie Irving departed less than three minutes before halftime with what the Celtics said was a sprained right knee.

The Celtics were up by 20 at the time. Irving didn’t return, and the Clippers, playing with four new players acquired at the trade deadline, overcame a 20-point deficit for a victory for the third time in their last five games.

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