Houston runs away from ice-cold Oklahoma City to win by 34, take 3-2 series lead

0 Comments

Any way you look at it, the Oklahoma City Thunder couldn’t throw a pea in the ocean (to use a Chick Hearnism).

Break it down by game segment: In the first quarter, Oklahoma City shot 5-of-26 overall and 1-of-12 from three. In the second half, the Thunder shot 12-of-44 (27.3%), 2-of-21 from three (9.5%).

Or, break it down by person: Danilo Gallinari, 0-of-5, Luguentz Dort 3-of-16, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2-of-8, Darius Bazley 2-of-10, Abdel Nader 1-of-6, and Terrance Ferguson 0-of-4.

Throw in a typically-hot James Harden scoring 31 and the Rockets ran away from the Thunder in the second half to win 114-80 and take a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is on Monday.

The most dramatic part of the game came in the third quarter when Oklahoma City’s Dennis Schroder tried to work around a pick by Houston’s P.J. Tucker and Schroder hit Tucker… below the belt, shall we say. Tucker got up and went at Schroder, and headbutted him.

Both players were ejected. Both will be paying a fine to the league.

Houston had Russell Westbrook back for this game, but he showed the rust of a player who has missed games (quad injury in his case). He finished with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting. Robert Covington had 22 for Houston, and Eric Gordon had 20.

The Thunder have to find some offense for Game 6, and it’s not simply about shooting better (although they need to do that as well). Dort has to be on the court because of his defense on Harden but the Rockets are barely guarding him now and he is not making Houston pay for that. The Oklahoma City starting five has started each game slowly, it can’t happen again with their playoffs on the line Monday.

Even on an off night on the court, CP3 said it was good to be out there — but he was thinking of bigger things.