Oklahoma City Thunder Rally to Defeat Houston Rockets

Thus far in the playoffs, however, his individual brilliance hasn't translated into wins against the Houston Rockets.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook delivered a historic performance in line with so many others produced during the regular season, but there was a measure of late inefficiency that accompanied what he did that proved haunting. "When Russell has been off the floor for us, there's been a differential".

ABOUT THE ROCKETS: Houston averaged just 102.5 points - almost 13 points below its average - in two regular-season visits to Oklahoma City and struggled in the fourth quarters with outputs of 13 in the loss and 16 in the win.

Game 3 takes place Saturday in Portland.

Millsap scored 14 points in the third quarter, including six during a 13-0 run by the Hawks that took them from a deficit to a 74-67 edge with a little more than 3½ minutes left in that period. Westbrook did have a triple-double and the team shot 55 percent from the field, yet the Rockets still had a chance to win at the end. "We don't like losing at home, especially in front of our fans in the playoffs". On Friday, Westbrook entered the fourth quarter with 17 shot attempts and only shot seven more times.

"And like I said, we had a lead, then a tie game and we ended up with the best player on the planet with the ball in his hands, so there's no better situation than that".

"Sometimes, when the ball goes in the basket, people have a tendency to say, 'Wow!" "Today those guys made plays throughout the whole game and that's what I tried to do".

"We looked like we needed some energy, looked like we needed a spark and I think in the first and second half [the second unit] was able to do it", Williams said. He went 4-18 from the field in the fourth quarter and didn't involve his teammates like he did before.

Westbrook, on his so-called supporting cast: "We're all one team".

"Down the stretch you've just got to be ready", Gordon said.

What Westbrook could really use, besides his normal rest at the start of the fourth quarter, is some help carrying the load offensively. Victor Oladipo also looked much better, going 5-for-8, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, for 12 points, which is just five short of his combined point total in the first two games of the series.

The Friday night thriller came down to James Harden and Russell Westbrook again. Friday, he had four in the first half alone. In the first two games, the Rockets had their wins over Thunder. He scored eight points in the third quarter, helping the Celtics regain control. "That's it", Westbrook said. "Everybody always wants to come out and play great". The Thunder had missed seven straight shots when Westbrook got them back on track with a lay-up with about eight minutes left.

On the line for these two teams is more than a place in the next round of the playoffs.

  • Julie Sanders