x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

NBA: Houston Rockets cut Oklahoma City Thunder lead to 3-1

In another game of the play-off series, New York Nets keep Chicago Bulls at bay.

Josh Smith, right, scored 29 points as the Hawks beat the Pacers. Tami Chappell / Reuters
Josh Smith, right, scored 29 points as the Hawks beat the Pacers. Tami Chappell / Reuters

The Houston Rockets avoided being swept by Oklahoma City Thunder in the best-of-seven Western Conference series on Monday, Chandler Parsons scoring 27 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Rockets to a 105-103 win.

Omer Asik added 17 points and 14 rebounds, Patrick Beverley scored 16 and James Harden had 15 as the Rockets cut the Thunder's lead to 3-1.

Oklahoma City had two chances to tie in the final seconds, but Reggie Jackson missed a driving shot and Serge Ibaka missed the putback as time expired to force the series back to Oklahoma City for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Kevin Durant had 38 points on 12-of-16 shooting, Jackson scored 18 points and Kevin Martin added 16 for the Thunder.

Jackson again started in place of Russell Westbrook, who is done for the postseason after undergoing knee surgery on Saturday.

Atlanta Hawks 102, Indiana Pacers 91

Josh Smith scored 29 points as the Atlanta Hawks built a 17-point lead at half-time, then withstood an Indiana Pacers comeback over the final two quarters to level their first-round NBA play-off series with a 102-91 victory in Game 4 on Monday.

After struggling much of the second half, Smith made every big play down the stretch. He swished a rare 3-pointer, came up with an offensive rebound to set up a 3 by Kyle Korver, then finished off a fast break with a right-handed dunk.

Paul George scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half as the Pacers made a game of it but could not come back from a 57-40 deficit at the break.

Tied at two wins apiece, the series returns to Indianapolis for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

New York Nets 110, Chicago Bulls 91

Brook Lopez had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Deron Williams added 23 points and 10 assists as the New York Nets cut the Chicago Bulls' lead to 3-2 in their first-round play-off series.

Andray Blatche scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and Gerald Wallace had consecutive baskets down the stretch as the Nets finally pulled away in a game they led most of the way, but never by too much.

Two days after rallying for a 142-134 triple-overtime victory, the Bulls were outscored 15-1 down the stretch and failed to set up a second-round series with Miami. Instead they will host Game 6 on Thursday.

More to follow.