Houston Rockets rumble OKC Thunder to take control of series

But one of the simplest, seemingly inconsequential things has been the postgame playoff podium. It allowed the Rockets to stay competitive in a game where the Thunder looked to be in control numerous times and Harden was having a nightmare of a game.

At 1-3 down, they now head to Houston where they have to win to remain in the series before returning to Oklahoma on Friday.

Russell Westbrook snapped at a reporter as he defended his teammates after the Oklahoma City Thunder absorbed a 113-109 loss to the Houston Rockets, who seized a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. And this was displayed no better than how the Rockets' bench has demolished not only OKC's bench, but completely altered the Thunder's ability to give Westbrook and Adams adequate rest. And once again, the Thunder were atrocious when he was on the bench, losing the nine non-Westbrook minutes by 18 points.

"Hold on Steven", Westbrook said cutting off Adams. He cleared his throat and leaned in close to the microphone. We say it every game that it's not going to be just one or two guys that win this game.

After the game, Russell Westbrook was in no mood to talk about how the team performs when he's off the floor and it's up to the bench players.

"Don't split us up", Westbrook told him initially.

But Westbrook didn't want to hear anything about the glaring on/off discrepancy, instead choosing to hop on the grenade for his teammates when the subject was broached during the post-game press conference. We in this together.

At attempt at a follow-up was waved off, literally, as Westbrook flapped his hands dismissively. "If he says he doesn't want to answer that, then fine". The New Zealander played much more aggressively on Sunday on the defensive end, especially in the first half, altering shots in the lane and getting three of the team's 14 blocks. We in this together. Westbrook's reaction to the question might be based more on the person asking it than its quality, but that doesn't mean it's inappropriate. Adams was directly asked for his thoughts, and he just shrugged.

That was when Westbrook interjected and wouldn't let Adams answer the question.

That conversation centers around the cause of the ills that affect the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was the flawless execution of a hard trick play. He helped the Rockets overcome an off night by James Harden, who finished with 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting. It was Durant calling Mark Cuban an "idiot" for claiming before Game 2 that Westbrook wasn't a superstar. "Today those guys made plays throughout the whole game and that's what I tried to do".

  • Zachary Reyes