Westbrook scores 45; Thunder beat Jazz to avoid elimination

“It’s a different feeling when you don’t have big fella back there,” Mitchell said. “It’s hard that we put all the pressure on him. We have had success but eventually it’s not going to work and we have to play better defense as guards ourselves.”

Albert Pujols connected off Verlander for his 619th career homer. Pujols now has 2,994 hits.

Verlander said he was “letting it fly” and “got a little erratic” in the seventh when he allowed two runs. But he said his body felt the best it had all season and his fastball command was the best it has been so far.

Verlander (4-0) held the Angels hitless into the fifth inning before Zack Cozart singled with two outs. Verlander gave up two runs and four hits, striking out nine without a walk.

Verlander won his 11th regular-season decision in a row, dating to mid-August last year, before the Detroit traded him to Houston.

“I feel like I say this every time he pitches, but what a great job of dominating and controlling the game he did,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “Even in the inning where he wobbled a little bit, it never gets away from him.”

Alex Bregman hit a three-run double and Jake Marisnick homered for Houston. The Angels had also won 11 straight road games in 1988.

Ken Giles pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.

Nick Tropeano (1-2) retired the first 11 batters he faced, striking out six.

Bogut announced on Tuesday that his 13-year NBA career was officially over. He will play the next two seasons with the Sydney Kings in the NBL.

“I’ve had a unique career in a way, I was drafted by Milwaukee at number one and I was the number one option on that team for six or seven years, so I got to experience being a guy who could go five for 20 or 10 for 20 and still get the next shot,” Bogut said.

“Then I was traded to Golden State and played a role on one of the best teams of all time. It was just an amazing ride and I learnt so much from being in that locker room, on how guys conduct themselves on daily basis, how professional you have to be, on and off the court.”

Now back home after his wild ride Stateside has finished, Bogut said he was committed to playing out his career for the Kings.

“There are no NBA outs, there’s no outs in my deal, there’s no European outs, I’m committed to be here for two years,” he said. “I’m very, very excited to be back in Australia, and yes, that will retire me from the NBA, I’m happy to say that today,” he said.jets_132

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