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Harden powers past illness to score 31, lifting Rockets past Thunder 107-100 in Game 5

  • 74efd7fcba68ab0e300f6a706700dda6.jpg

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots in front of Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25), forward Francisco Garcia, top, and center Omer Asik (3) in the first quarter of Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (The Associated Press)

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    Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, gets back on his crutches at the end of the second quarter of Game 5 of the Thunder's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Westbrook, who is injured, was watching the game from the suite level. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (The Associated Press)

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    Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher is blocked by Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25) in the second quarter of Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Rockets guard James Harden is at right. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (The Associated Press)

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    Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks reacts to a call in the second quarter of Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (The Associated Press)

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    A fan, lower left, takes an image of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, as he gets back on his crutches at the end of the second quarter of Game 5 of the Thunder's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Westbrook, who is injured, was watching the game from the suite level. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (The Associated Press)

James Harden scored 31 points and sank seven 3-pointers while fighting through flu-like symptoms, and the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-100 Wednesday night to pull within 3-2 in their first-round playoff series.

Harden made the first seven 3s he tried and Houston led by as many as 16 before fending off a rally that Oklahoma City helped stymie with its own strategy.

The Thunder, apparently doubting they could overcome an eight-point lead on their home court without Russell Westbrook, resorted to intentionally fouling Omer Asik — a 54 percent career foul shooter — with 5:33 to play. Asik went 8 for 12 from the line, extending Houston's lead to 101-92 with 3:53 remaining before Oklahoma City gave up the tactic.

Kevin Durant finished with 36 points for Oklahoma City, which must now travel to Houston for Game 6 on Friday night.

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