April 5, 2014 / 5:13 AM / 5 years ago

Rockets clinch NBA playoff berth

Apr 4, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin (7) drives to the basket during the first quarter as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson (15) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The Houston Rockets grabbed their 50th win of the year to clinch a place in the NBA playoffs courtesy of a 111-107 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

Houston improved to 50-25 and are fourth in the competitive Western Conference.

James Harden scored 39 points and added nine rebounds and seven assists in the win which was achieved without Dwight Howard or Patrick Beverley.

The Rockets also created a buffer to current fifth seed Portland (49-28) as they battle for home court advantage in the playoffs.

Reporting by Ben Everill; Editing by Nick Mulvenney

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