Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets - 4/19/17 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

The Thunder point guard kept his team in it for the first half, but played only 13 minutes in the second half as Houston was turning the game into a blowout.

While Harden labored through a 1-for-7 start, Beverley drained two 3-pointers.

There are few players in the National Basketball Association who can drive into the teeth of the defense and score at the rim or find an open shooter out of that action like Harden. But the issue of Russell Westbrook not receiving enough help from the rest of his troops - something that plagued their entire regular season - reared its head again. The Rockets outrebounded the Thunder 56-41 and they completely dominated points in the paint (62-38) and second-chance points (31-4).

As is so often the case, Patrick Beverley was there for support Sunday night.

Beverley refused to take credit for slowing Westbrook down. Houston set single-season league records for 3-pointers made and attempted in 2016-17.

Golden State withstood 75 combined points from the Trail Blazers duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to triumph in a game that saw 22 lead changes.

The Rockets would expand on their lead in the third, outscoring the Thunder 30-20 to make it a 15 point game with 12 minutes to go.

Stephen Curry added 29. Harden missed all six of his 3-point attempts in the first half but finished with 37 points, nine assists and seven boards.

"I think the league is very prosperous because we've got some great players that are doing things that I don't think any fan has ever seen, or they have seen and they probably can't remember it because it's been so long", Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. "They still made some tough shots, which they're going to do".

"We've got to do a better job starting with myself - got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball and making some shots", Westbrook said.

"Since 10 years old".

Sunday's Eastern Conference action got under way in Washington, where John Wall scored 15 of his 32 points in a dominant third quarter to lead the Wizards to a 114-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in their series opener.

German guard Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 25 points and Paul Millsap had 19. Taj Gibson scored only five points and Enes Kanter only scored eight.

  • Julie Sanders