Schroder scores 30; Thunder top Rockets to even series

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Oklahoma City Thunder's Dennis Schroder (17) scores against Houston Rockets' Jeff Green, right, during the second quarter of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Dennis Schroder scored a career playoff-high 30 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied to beat the Houston Rockets 117-114 on Monday and even the first-round Western Conference playoff series at two wins apiece.

Oklahoma City trailed by 15 points in the third quarter and was down a point heading into the fourth. But the Thunder led the league during the regular season with 17 wins after trailing heading into the final quarter. And they trailed going into the fourth on Saturday before winning in overtime.

“I always believe we can turn it around,” Schroder said. “Just bring a little bit of energy, get stops as a team, take the good shots and we’ll be in good shape. We’ve been doing it all season.”

Chris Paul scored 26 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who won despite allowing 23 3-pointers.

James Harden had 32 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds for Houston. Eric Gordon scored 23 points and Danuel House Jr. added 21 for the Rockets.

The Thunder shot 49% from the field.

“This game, we needed better individual defense,” Gordon said. “They really had it going, and they just tried to spread us out and go one-on-one. We scored enough but they just continued to keep scoring and that was really the name of the game.”

Former Thunder star Russell Westbrook sat out for Houston again with a strained right quad. The All-Star point guard has not played in the series.