Basketball: Houston Rockets grind out ugly 69-65 win over Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson (15) rebounds the ball against Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson (15) rebounds the ball against Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

OKLAHOMA CITY - James Harden scored 19 points to lead the Houston Rockets to an ugly 69-65 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the National Basketball Association on Sunday.

The last time a team won with 69 or fewer points was the Detroit Pistons' 64-62 victory over Utah on March 13, 2005. Both the Rockets and the Thunder shot below 30 per cent from the field - the last time that happened was Oct 29, 2003, when the Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs 80-72.

Houston shot just 28.8 per cent. The last time an NBA team won with a lower percentage was on Feb 19, 2000, when the Chicago Bulls shot 28.6 per cent and beat the Los Angeles Clippers 74-72.

The Rockets improved to 9-1 on the season while the Thunder fell to 3-8 as they continue to play without the injured Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It was the second straight game for the Thunder to lose in the final seconds at home. With the score tied at 65-all in the closing two minutes, Harden drained a three-pointer and added a free throw to seal the win for Houston.

"This game will not go in the NBA Hall of Fame," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.