As the Houston Rockets pulled away from the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1, Clint Capela capped it off by finishing a monster alley-oop from James Harden
Despite being ahead by only single digits after the first half, the Houston Rockets weren’t completely fazed by the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder. The argument all season has been that James Harden had a better team around him than Russell Westbrook. While the validity of that has been argued, it’s at least marginally true, and true in terms of overall record. It certainly looked factual in the second half.
Harden and the Rockets started to pour it on the Thunder. With Westbrook not being able to fully find his rhythm, no one else on the roster really stepped up to help him shoulder the load. Meanwhile, Harden and Houston were getting more in rhythm and were just picking apart the Oklahoma City defense every time down.
With the game seemingly already out of reach, Harden had the rock and had the Thunder defense scrambling a bit. They ran a pick-and-roll at the left elbow extended with the MVP candidate and Clint Capela. When the defender lost the big man, Harden showed off a bit of his unselfishness. The guard lobbed it up to the rim and Capela went up and claimed it for the monster dunk:
Had that dunk not gone down, it would’ve been pretty much over for the Thunder anyway. But as far as making statements go, that definitely felt like a way to do so.
Meanwhile, Harden also delivered a resounding statement in Game 1 of the series showdown with his MVP adversary. While Westbrook shot just 6-of-23 from the field and finished with 22 points, The Beard wound up with 37 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Not a bad way to set the tone in the playoffs.