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NBA: Oklahoma City 103, Houston 94

May 4, 2013 at 12:50 AM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, May 4 (UPI) -- Kevin Martin temporarily made up for the absence of Russell Westbrook and helped advance Oklahoma City in the playoffs Friday with a 103-94 win over Houston.

The Thunder won for the first time since Westbrook went out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

They had dropped two games to the Rockets, but finally eliminated Houston in six games and set up a Western Conference semifinal encounter with Memphis.

Memphis also advanced Friday with its fourth straight victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Houston held an eight-point lead late in the third period, but by the time the quarter was over the Thunder had inched in front by a point.

Oklahoma City then went on a 9-2 run to open the final period and held on from there to take a step toward its second straight conference title.

Martin came off the bench to score 25 points, hitting 7-of-13 from the field and all eight of his free throws.

He gave a much-needed assist to Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant, who scored 27 points to go with eight rebounds.

James Harden, who was with Oklahoma City when it captured the conference crown a year ago, scored 26 points and Chandler Parsons added 25 for the Rockets.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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