OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook didn't have to do everything himself Friday night.
The Oklahoma City star turned in another triple-double performance in a 115-113 Game 3 win over the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but it wasn't just the Westbrook show over the final 12 minutes as the Thunder hung on for the win to pull within 2-1 in the series.
"I had to do a better job of trusting my teammates for 48 minutes," Westbrook said. "Today those guys made plays throughout the whole game and that's what I tried to do."
In Wednesday night's Game 2, Westbrook was 4 of 18 from the floor in the fourth quarter as the Thunder let yet another lead slip away.
On Friday night, Steven Adams came up with the big play, tipping in Westbrook's missed 3-pointer to put the Thunder up with 35 seconds remaining.
None of Westbrook's 11 assists -- to go along with 32 points and 13 rebounds -- came in the fourth quarter, but several of his passes set up scores for teammates.
"I thought he was unbelievable," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "He got guys shots; he took advantage when they switched; he did a lot of different things. He played an exceptional game."
The triple-double was Westbrook's second consecutive, making him the first player to record back-to-back triple doubles in the same playoff series since Jason Kidd in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals.
Westbrook left the door open, though, for some Houston heroics when he twice missed free throws in the closing seconds as the Rockets put the Thunder on the line hoping for the comeback.
His second miss, with 8.4 seconds left, set up a last-ditch effort by James Harden.
Harden, with Andre Roberson picking him up just outside of the arc, saw the lane getting packed with Oklahoma City defenders and decided to pull up for the 3-pointer. The shot hit the front of the rim, then bounced off the backboard and away as Westbrook flew in and batted at the ball, ending any chance of a Rockets put-back.
"I just wanted to get the best shot available," Harden said. "I didn't try to overthink it. I saw the paint kind of get closed in and I just shot the ball -- shot it with confidence."
It was Harden's second missed 3-pointer -- both short -- in the final 15 seconds. He finished with 44 points on 11-of-21 shooting.
While the final seconds stand out, Harden said it was the Rockets' cold start -- and the hot start of the Thunder -- that was concerning.
Oklahoma City outscored Houston 34-25 in the first quarter, leading by nine after 12 minutes for the second consecutive game.
"We've got to come out with some dog in us," Harden said. "Second half, we did a really good job on both ends of the floor. I think both (Games) 2 and 3 we spot them 10 points and it's tough."
The Thunder led for much of the game thanks in part to Donovan's altered rotation.
He went with an offensive-heavy look for large stretches, expanding the minutes given to Alex Abrines and Doug McDermott. Taj Gibson also played extended minutes and scored 20 points in 29:25 after combining for just 13 in the first two games of the series.
"You think going into Game 1, 'we really gotta guard,' and in Game 1 we did a good job at the 3-point line and we scored 88 points," Donovan said. "There's a balance trying to go all offense or all defense. But they create very, very difficult matchups. Trying to find that balance is what you're looking for."
Donovan was concerned with the Rockets' frequent trips to the free-throw line -- which helped Houston pull close after Oklahoma City led by 15 late in the first half -- and his team's struggled to get there consistently.
The Rockets were 27 of 33 from the line while the Thunder were just 14 of 23. All but nine of those attempts were by Westbrook.
NOTES: The Thunder had 24 assists while the Rockets had just 10. ... Rockets forward Sam Dekker will have his left hand examined Monday. The exam will come three weeks after Dekker underwent surgery to repair a fracture in the hand. Dekker, who had a plate and seven screws inserted in the procedure, has been shooting this week but hasn't been catching passes with the injured hand. ... Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook was fined $15,000 for inappropriate language during a postgame interview following Wednesday's Game 2, the NBA announced Friday. ... Houston's Ryan Anderson made two first-quarter 3-pointers. In the first two games of the series, Anderson missed all 11 of his 3-point attempts. ... Thunder backup point guard Semaj Christon was inactive, as was Josh Huestis. Christon played nearly 14 minutes in the opener and 6:38 in Game 2.