James Harden of the Houston Rockets handles the ball guarded by Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first half of Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2013 in Oklahoma City.
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- 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 threes he tried and Houston led by as many as 16 before fending off a rally that Oklahoma City helped stymie with its own strategy.
PHOTO GALLERY - OKC Thunder in the 2013 NBA Playoffs (http://bit.ly/10tyVZL)
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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