Playoffs Round 1 Series Recap: Houston Rockets Roll Over OKC Thunder, Advance to Round 2
Houston Beats Thunder 105-99, Wins Series 4-1
James Harden had 34 points and his supporting cast lifted the Houston Rockets past the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 105-99 victory.
Last year, the Thunder went all the way to the Western Conference Finals, however this year they are headed home just after the first round despite Russel Westbrook’s 47 point performance.
At the end of the 4th quarter, the Rockets went on a 5-1 run, gaining most of their points from free throws as they pulled away from the Thunder 98-91. At that point, the Thunder were getting tired, frustrated and sloppy as Victor Oladipo launched a pass about 5 feet above Westbrook’s head, throwing it out of bounds. On the next play, Harden came in for an easy layup.
With the help of eating up the clock to finish the game, the Thunder also kept missing shot after shot which could’ve closed the gap in the score. This sums up the series for the Thunder, as last game they failed to foul the Rockets all the way up the court in the final seconds which secured the Rocket’s victory.
Also in the game, Westbrook and Patrick Beverly got into a heated exchange late in the 4th quarter when both teams were at their breaking points.
Beverly said, “It’s actually the first time we exchanged words this postseason. He’s a really good player. He applies a lot of pressure due to his athleticism, his creating ability. He shocked me because he said, ‘Look up’ and said, ‘Nobody can guard me. I got 40 points.’ I said, ‘That’s nice. You took 34 shots to get it.’ I’m not trying to bash anybody. Men lie, women lie, and the numbers don’t. Collectively, as a unit, we did a great job on him, tried to make him take a lot of tough shots, and the numbers show.”
And on Westbrook’s side of things, “He was talking first team all-defense. I didn’t know what he was talking about ’cause I had 42 at the time. I have no idea what he was talking about. Maybe he was dreaming or some s—. I don’t know what he was talking about. I guess he wanted to be first team all-defense. Maybe he was dreaming about it. I don’t know.”
Either way, the scuffling is now over as the Rockets advance.
Game 1: 118-87 Houston
Game 2: 111-115 Houston
Game 3: 115-113 Oklahoma City
Game 4: 113-109 Houston
Game 5: 99-105 Houston