Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Paul George scored 24 points and Carmelo Anthony added 20 for the Thunder, who won their fifth straight game and their 11th in their past 14. Oklahoma City shot 54.4 percent from the field against the Rockets, who entered the day with the best record in the Western Conference.The Thunder started 4-7 after acquiring George and Anthony in the offseason, but they’ve charged back to the center of the West’s playoff picture as they’ve figured out how to distribute the ball among their stars.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Every night, teams guard us differently,” Westbrook said. “Once we figure that out and see how teams are guarding us — find ways to make the game easier for (George and Anthony), and that’s my job.”James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points, but he made just 7 of 18 field goals. The league’s leading scorer was coming off back-to-back 51-point games. Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook goes up for a shot over Houston Rockets’ Briante Weber in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. Oklahoma City won, 112-107. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City is starting to have the look of a contender.Russell Westbrook had 31 points and 11 assists to help the Thunder stay hot with a 112-107 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday (Tuesday Manila time).ADVERTISEMENT “That wasn’t me out there,” he said. “Honestly I don’t know who that was out there. I swear, I don’t know who that was.”STAT LINESWestbrook, George and Anthony combined to make 16 of 22 field goals in the second half.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Give them credit,” Harden said. “They made big-time shots. We had our chances, though. We had several chances, we just couldn’t convert and we couldn’t get stops when we needed to.”Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon each scored 20 points and Clint Capela added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which lost its third straight.Houston point guard Chris Paul sat out with a groin strain. The Rockets are 15-1 when he plays and 10-6 when he doesn’t.The Thunder held the Rockets below their league-best average of 115.4 points per game. The Rockets made just 12 of 37 3-pointers.“I thought tonight we made multiple efforts, which we knew we was going to have to do against a fast-paced team like that, a team that likes to move the ball, play fast, put up a lot of shots, put up a lot of 3s,” Anthony said. “We knew that we was going to have to scramble tonight, and I thought we did a great job tonight of not getting frustrated when they did make some tough shots, make some 3s.”ADVERTISEMENT Beal’s 25 points carries Wizards by Celtics View comments Westbrook shot 4 for 14 in the first half but made his last two before the break to help the Thunder lead 58-57 at halftime. Harden had 11 points in the first half but made just 1 of 8 shots.Westbrook broke away for a fast-break dunk to give the Thunder a 65-59 lead early in the third quarter. The Rockets rallied, and the score was tied at 88 heading into the fourth.Houston had the ball down by three in the final minute. Harden missed a wild 3-pointer while trying but failing to draw a foul, and the Thunder got control in a scramble. Westbrook found Andre Roberson for a layup with 21 seconds left to put the Thunder up 112-107.Westbrook scored 11 points in just under nine minutes in the fourth quarter.“I’m coming,” he said. “That’s what I bring to the table. Once I hit the floor, it’s nonstop.”TIP-INSRockets: Capela returned to the starting lineup. He had missed the previous two games with a left heel contusion. … Houston committed just one turnover in the first quarter and 14 overall.Thunder: Roberson left in the first quarter but returned later in the period with fingers taped together on his left hand. … C Steven Adams had 12 points and six rebounds in the first quarter and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds … George and Anthony had three fouls in the first half. George finished with five and Anthony with four.QUOTABLEAnthony played without his shooter arm sleeves early in the game and didn’t feel like himself without them. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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Stanford came into the weekend with its second-leading scorer sidelined and its NCAA Tournament hopes in doubt. Another sweep against the Oregon schools has improved the outlook for the Cardinal quite a bit. Brook Lopez scored a career-high 26 points and keyed a big second-half run that helped host Stanford beat No. 15 Oregon for the 21st consecutive time at Maples Pavilion, 88-69 Saturday night. “We knew coming in that we had to bear down and be tough,” Lopez said. “Everybody needs to win out these last few games to get the best possible chance for postseason play. We knew we had to come in and play tough and go right at them.” The Cardinal (17-8, 9-5 Pac-10) wrapped up their 14th straight home sweep against the Oregon schools and gave their tournament hopes a big boost with their fifth win of the season against a ranked opponent. Oregon (20-7, 8-7) has lost six of eight games overall and will try to recover with three home games to end the season. Stanford is once again on the way up despite an ankle injury that sidelined Anthony Goods last weekend. Mitch Johnson replaced Goods in the starting lineup and delivered with a career-high 12 points and no turnovers while running the offense. No. 7 Pittsburgh 65, Washington 61: Levance Fields and Ronald Ramon made two free throws each in the final 1:40 to lift the Panthers (23-4) over the visting Huskies (16-10). The Panthers won despite not getting a basket in the final 2:45. Mike Cook scored 15, Fields had 14, Ramon added 11 and Sam Young had 10 for Pitt. Jon Brockman had 13 points and nine rebounds and Spencer Hawes had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Huskies, who led by as many as seven points in the first half but never led in the second half. Cal 84, Oregon St. 80 (OT): Freshman forward Patrick Christopher scored 24 points to lead the Golden Bears (14-12, 6-8 Pac-10) past the Beavers (10-18, 2-13). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!