Westbrook's 51 points in vain after Rocket attackSports | Apr 21, 2017
Westbrook also had 13 assists and 10 rebounds, but he made just four of 18 shots in the fourth quarter as the home team clawed back from a double-digit deficit to surge ahead before holding on.
The series shifts to Oklahoma City for Game Three of the best-of-seven series tomorrow (HK time).
The game was tied before Houston scored 10 unanswered points, with three-pointers from Harden, Patrick Beverley and Eric Gordon, to make it 114-104 with one minute 22 seconds remaining.
Westbrook scored four straight points to start a 7-1 run after that, but the Thunder wouldn't get any closer.
This was a much different game than the series opener, when Houston routed the Thunder 118-87. This time, Houston trailed by as many as 15 and did not take the lead until the fourth quarter.
Elsewhere, Stephen Curry scored 19 points on an off night but JaVale McGee sparked Golden State off the bench with 15, as the short-handed Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-81 for a 2-0 series lead.
The Warriors played without injured leading scorer Kevin Durant.
McGee shone on a night when none of the two teams' stars found their consistent shooting strokes.
The backup big man made all seven of his field-goal attempts and delivered several more alley-oop dunks as Durant watched with a strained left calf he hurt in the series opener.
Draymond Green had another fantastic all-around game, getting 12 rebounds, 10 assists, six points and three more blocked shots after swatting five in the Game One win.
Curry went six-for-18, while Klay Thompson was six-of-17 with 16 points.
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard - with 11 and 12 points, respectively - were hardly the dynamic scoring duo for Portland after combining for 75 points only three days earlier.
In a rough-and-tumble, foul-filled game in Washington, Bradley Beal took over in the fourth quarter with 16 of his 31 points, helping the Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks 109-101 for a 2-0 series lead.
John Wall finished with 32 points and nine assists, including the pass to Beal for his three-pointer with 38 seconds remaining that sealed the win for the hosts.
Washington trailed 78-74 entering the final period.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Dennis Schroder scored 23. But center Dwight Howard had only seven rebounds, half his Game One total, and six points.