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Wednesday's NBA playoffs: Rockets outlast Thunder in Game 7, advance to face Lakers

Associated Press

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — James Harden made up for a miserable shooting night with a big blocked shot, Russell Westbrook scored 20 points against his former team and the Houston Rockets edged the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-102 on Wednesday night in Game 7 of their first-round series.

The Rockets pulled out a tense final game of the first round that lasted long past the final basket as replays and fouls were sorted out.

Referee Pat Fraher, left, and Oklahoma City Thunder's Luguentz Dort (5) look on as Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) celebrates after blocking a 3-point shot attempt by Dort during the second half of an NBA first-round playoff basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.

In the end, Houston prevailed to set up a second-round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers that begins Friday despite Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer, going 4 for 15 from the field.

The frantic final seconds of a game that was tight throughout had Houston take the lead for good at 103-102 when P.J. Tucker scored with 1:25 remaining. After changes of possession, the Thunder got the ball to Lu Dort, who attempted a 3-pointer that Harden blocked with 4.8 seconds left.

Robert Covington made a free throw with 1.4 seconds to go and Harden was whistled for fouling Danilo Gallinari before the ball was inbounded, giving the Thunder one free throw and the ball. But Gallinari missed the free throw and the Thunder turned it over on the last inbounds pass.

Covington had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Eric Gordon also scored 21 points for the Rockets. Harden finished with 17 points and nine assists.

Dort scored a career-best 30 points for the Thunder and Chris Paul, swapped for Westbrook over the summer, had 19 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds.

Miami Heat's Jae Crowder (99) knocks the ball loose from Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), left, during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

More NBA playoffs 

Miami 116, Milwaukee 114: Jimmy Butler made two free throws with no time remaining and Miami wasted a six-point lead in the final seconds yet found a way to beat Milwaukee for a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Butler rattled in the first, which was the only one that mattered, then made the second for the final margin. He got fouled by Giannis Antetokounmpo with about a tenth of a second left on a jump shot from the left corner.

Referees sent Butler to the line, with no one else on the lane, as some Heat teammates knelt at midcourt. And just like that, the Heat became the first No. 5 seed in NBA history to take a 2-0 series lead over a No. 1 seed.

Goran Dragic scored 23 points, Tyler Herro added 17 off the bench and Jae Crowder had 16 for Miami.

Bam Adebayo scored 15 points, Butler and Duncan Robinson each had 13 and Kelly Olynyk added 11 for Miami – which is 6-0 in this postseason.

Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks, who were down by six with 27 seconds left and tied it. Khris Middleton scored 23 points for Milwaukee, the last three of those coming when Dragic was called for fouling him with 4.3 seconds left.

Game 3 is Friday.

First round

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Milwaukee 4, Orlando 1

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Orlando, 122, Milwaukee 110

Thursday, Aug. 20: Milwaukee 111, Orlando 96

Saturday, Aug. 22: Milwaukee 121, Orlando 107

Monday, Aug. 24: Milwaukee 121, Orlando 106

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Orlando vs. Milwaukee, ppd.

Saturday, Aug. 29: Milwaukee 118, Orlando 104

Toronto 4, Brooklyn 0

Monday, Aug. 17: Toronto 134, Brooklyn 110

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Toronto 104, Brooklyn 99

Friday, Aug. 21: Toronto 117, Brooklyn 92

Sunday, Aug. 23: Toronto 150, Brooklyn 122

Boston 4, Philadelphia 0

Monday, Aug. 17: Boston 109, Philadelphia 101

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Boston 128, Philadelphia 101

Friday, Aug. 21: Boston 102, Philadelphia 94

Sunday, Aug. 23: Boston 110, Philadelphia 106

Miami 4, Indiana 0

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Miami 113 Indiana 101

Thursday, Aug. 20: Miami 109, Indiana 100

Saturday, Aug. 22: Miami 124, Indiana 115

Monday, Aug. 24: Miami 99, Indiana 87

WESTERN CONFERENCE

L.A. Lakers 4, Portland 1

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Portland 100, L.A. Lakers 93

Thursday, Aug. 20: L.A. Laker 111, Portland 88

Saturday, Aug. 22: L.A. Lakers 116, Portland 108

Monday, Aug. 24: L.A. Lakers 135 Portland 115

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Portland vs. L.A. Lakers, ppd.

Saturday, Aug. 29: L.A. Lakers 131, Portland 122

L.A. Clippers 4, Dallas 2

Monday, Aug. 17: L.A. Clippers 118, Dallas 110

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Dallas 127, L.A. Clippers 114

Friday, Aug. 21: L.A. Clippers 130, Dallas 122

Sunday, Aug. 23: Dallas 135, L.A. Clippers 133, OT

Tuesday, Aug. 25: L.A. Clippers 154, Dallas 111

Sunday, Aug. 30: L.A. Clippers 111, Dallas 97

Denver 4, Utah 3

Monday, Aug. 17: Denver 135, Utah 125, OT

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Utah 124, Denver 105

Friday, Aug. 21: Utah 124, Denver 87

Sunday, Aug. 23: Utah 129, Denver 127

Tuesday, Aug. 25: Denver 117, Utah 107

Thursday, Aug. 27: Denver vs. Utah, ppd.

Sunday, Aug. 30: Denver 119, Utah 107

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Denver 80, Utah 78

Houston 3, Oklahoma City 3

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Houston 123, Oklahoma City 108

Thursday, Aug. 20: Houston 112, Oklahoma City 98

Saturday, Aug. 22: Oklahoma City 119, Houston 107, OT

Monday, Aug. 24: Oklahoma City 117, Houston 114

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, ppd.

Saturday, Aug. 29: Houston 114, Oklahoma City 80

Monday, Aug. 31: Oklahoma City 104, Houston 100

Wednesday, Sept. 2: Houston 104, Oklahoma City 102

Conference semifinals 

EASTERN CONFERENCE 

Miami 2, Milwaukee 0

Monday, Aug. 31: Miami 115, Milwaukee 104

Wednesday, Sept. 2: Miami 116, Milwaukee 114

Friday, Sept. 4: Milwaukee vs. Miami, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 6: Milwaukee vs. Miami, 3:30 p.m.

x-Tuesday, Sept. 8: Miami vs. Milwaukee, TBD

x-Thursday, Sept. 10: Milwaukee vs. Miami, TBD

x-Saturday, Sept. 12: Miami vs. Milwaukee, TBD

Boston 2, Toronto 0

Sunday, Aug. 30: Boston 112, Toronto 94

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Boston 102, Toronto 99

Thursday, Sept. 3: Toronto vs. Boston, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 5: Toronto vs. Boston, 6:30 p.m.

x-Monday, Sept. 7: Boston vs. Toronto, TBD

x-Wednesday, Sept. 9: Toronto vs. Boston, TBD

x-Friday, Sept. 11: Boston vs. Toronto, TBD

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Houston vs. L.A. Lakers

Friday, Sept. 4: Houston vs. L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 6: Houston vs. L.A. Lakers, 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 8: L.A. Lakers, vs. Houston, 9 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 10: L.A. Lakers vs. Houston, TBD

x-Saturday, Sept. 12: Houston vs. L.A. Lakers, TBD

x-Monday, Sept. 14: L.A. Lakers vs. Houston, TBD

x-Wednesday, Sept. 16: Houston vs. L.A. Lakers, TBD

L.A. Clippers vs. Denver

Thursday, Sept. 3: Denver vs. L.A. Clippers, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 5: Denver vs. L.A. Clippers, 9 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 7: L.A. Clippers vs. Denver, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 9: L.A. Clippers vs. Denver, 9 p.m.

x-Friday, Sept. 11: Denver vs. L.A. Clippers, TBD

x-Sunday, Sept. 13: L.A. Clippers vs. Denver, TBD

x-Tuesday, Sept. 15: Denver vs. L.A. Clippers, TBD

x-If necessary