JJ Watt huge fan of Rockets guard Patrick Beverley

Following three razor-thin wars of attrition, the competitive veneer pierced during OKC's March 26 setback to Houston collapsed Sunday night.

James Harden and the Houston Rockets will welcome Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Toyota Center for Game 1 of their first-round National Basketball Association playoff series.

Robertson played with two fellow all-stars who averaged at least 20 points per game that season in Wayne Embry and fellow University of Cincinnati standout Jack Twyman.

If Houston continues to hold its own on the glass despite three-guard lineups featuring some combination of James Harden, Patrick Beverley, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams, the Thunder won't last long this postseason.

Westbrook scored 22 points in today's loss and only made 6 of 23 shots with nine turnovers for the Thunder. The Rockets scored the final four points of the period, and after the lead changed hands 11 times in the second quarter, the teams went to halftime with the Rockets leading 59-54. At the time maybe it was Wilson or some other s***'. "We just have to go back to the drawing board and figure it out before Game 2". Tonight was a game, tonight we played defensively really well. "We didn't shoot the ball well, but we got into the paint and we finished (at the rim)".

With less than a week left in the regular season, anxiety was beginning to mount as to whether or not Russell Westbrook could break Oscar Robinson's 56-year-old record for most triple-doubles in a season, but the Oklahoma City guard pushed through in a huge way.

The Thunder trailed by 15 entering the fourth quarter, and six straight points by the Rockets extended the lead to 100-78 with about 7 1/2 minutes remaining.

Perhaps the best thing about the Houston Rockets' blowout win was the fact that they didn't even have that great a game from a lot of standpoints. While we all were sure that Mr. Westbrook would have an incredible season leading the team, no one could have expected anyone averaging a triple double in the modern era of basketball.

James Harden was ice cold from behind the 3-point arc. "Who is going to be the team that wants it more?" They not appreciate his work with them on the court, but the vibe he created in the building from the moment he took over after the players struggled through a season where Kevin McHale was sacked after just 11 games past year.

This season, Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. Beverley sandwiched a floater and consecutive 3-pointers around three Harden free throws in the third quarter to extend the lead to 73-62. From that point on, the Rockets dominated.

Ultimately, this type of mindset from Russell Westbrook should make for a much more enticing of a first-round matchup between the Thunder and Rockets. Lou Williams also managed to make just three of his 11 shot attempts.

The Thunder got nearly no offense from anyone beyond Westbrook and Andre Roberson (18 points). He finished 4 of 6 from behind the arc Sunday after going 3 of 3 in the first half.

OAKLAND, Calif. - Kevin Durant had 32 points and 10 rebounds in his Golden State playoff debut, Stephen Curry scored 29 points, and the Warriors withstood a sensational day by Portland duo CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard in Game 1.

  • Julie Sanders