After a 118-87 blowout victory on Sunday night, the Houston Rockets will be looking to take a 2-0 lead as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Here’s the where and when and a quick preview for Game 2 of this best-of-seven series.
Game 1 of this best-of-seven series didn’t go how most people expected it to go, especially the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Houston Rockets took a five-point lead into the second half of the opener but turned it on in the third quarter and continued the onslaught in the fourth, outscoring Oklahoma City 59-33 over the final 24 minutes. They came out on top with a surprising 118-87 victory to take a 1-0 lead in this highly anticipated Western Conference matchup, featuring the top two candidates for NBA MVP, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Harden was simply the better player in Game 1, scoring 37 points, dishing out 9 assists and grabbing 7 rebounds. While Westbrook’s stat line looks good with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, he never really got into the flow of the game and shot just 6-for-23 from the floor. He also didn’t have very much help as Victor Oladipo went just 1-for-12 from the field for 6 points and the starting front line of Steven Adams and Taj Gibson combined for just 11 points and 6 rebounds. The only other bright spot for Oklahoma City was Andre Roberson, who averaged just 6.6 points during the regular season but shot 7-for-10, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, for 18 points and also contributed 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
Houston, on the other hand, got big contributions from a number of different players, the most important of which came from Patrick Beverley, who not only gave Russell Westbrook all he could handle on the defensive end but also put up a career playoff high with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting and also grabbed 10 boards. Beverley was one of five Rockets players to score in double figures on Sunday night, joining Harden (37), Clint Capela (14), Lou Williams (11) and Nene, who played extremely well off the bench with 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
Here are the projected starting lineups for Wednesday night’s Game 2 and a few of their highlights (or lowlights in a few cases for OKC) from the series opener.
C-Clint Capela (14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks)
PF-Ryan Anderson (4 points, 12 rebounds)
SF-Trevor Ariza (4 points, 4 rebounds)
SG-Patrick Beverley (21 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals)
PG-James Harden (37 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals)
Oklahoma City Thunder
C-Steven Adams (6 points, 5 rebounds)
PF-Taj Gibson (5 points, 1 rebound)
SF-Andre Roberson (18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks)
SG-Victor Oladipo (6 points, 3 assists, 2 blocks)
PG-Russell Westbrook (22 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 9 turnovers)