Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Chris Paul scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series to force a decisive Game 7 in Orlando, Fla.
Paul paced the Thunder with 28 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in the 104-100 win Monday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex inside Walt Disney World Resort. The game featured 14 lead changes and was tied 11 times.
"We've been in these kind of situations all season long, so we just sort of thrive in them," Paul said of the Thunder's vital victory.
"We all have a common goal: to win the game," Paul said. "We just try to compete and fight as hard as we can and try to take it quarter by quarter and minute by minute."
Houston and Oklahoma City exchanged the lead in the first quarter until the Rockets went on an 8-0 run to take a 13-8 edge with 5:30 remaining in the frame. The teams exchanged the lead once again before Westbrook made a shot with 52 seconds remaining in the quarter to give the Rockets a 25-24 edge.
Harden poured in 11 points in the second quarter to help the Rockets own a 51-48 edge at halftime. He scored another nine points in the third frame, but the Thunder used an 8-0 run over the final 2:30 of the quarter to snatch momentum. Oklahoma City took a 77-75 lead into the final 12 minutes.
The Rockets fought back and took a six-point lead with 4:29 remaining before Paul willed his team to victory. The Thunder guard hit back-to-back 3 pointers to tie the score at 98-98 with 2:57 remaining. Dennis Schroder tied the score again at 100-100 with a minute remaining before Paul sank two clutch free throws with 13.1 seconds remaining to give the final lead to the Thunder.
Oklahoma City held off Harden and Westbrook down the stretch to secure the Game 6 win and tie the series at 3-3.
"We will be fine," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We played about as bad as we can play and we will have to do a better job [in Game 7].
"We are going to respond."
The Thunder and Rockets will face off in Game 7 at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Orlando. The winner of the series will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round at 9 p.m. EDT Friday.