Harden scores 21 points, Rockets beat Thunder for 2-0 lead

James Harden had 21 issues and 9 assists and the Houston Rockets made 19 of an NBA-record 56 Three-point makes an attempt to overcome the Oklahoma Town Thunder 111-98 on Thursday for a 2-Zero lead within the first-round Western Convention collection.

For all of the long-range pictures, Harden mentioned the Rockets if truth be told gained with protection. Houston held the Thunder to 39 issues after the damage.

“We performed neatly,” he mentioned. “We didn’t shoot the ball in particular neatly this night. However I feel defensively, particularly in that 2d part, we did an incredible task simply gearing in what they love to do and correcting our mishaps in that first part.”

Former Thunder famous person Russell Westbrook was once out for the Rockets once more with a proper quad pressure, however quite a lot of different Houston avid gamers picked up the slack. Danuel Area Jr. scored 19 issues.


“It’s no longer satisfaction, it’s simply workforce power,” Area mentioned. “We wish to be sure that guys aren’t being concerned about themselves so guys are appearing nice power at the court docket and stale the court docket.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 issues for the Thunder, and Danilo Gallinari added 17.

Oklahoma Town ruled the second one quarter and led 59-53 at halftime. The Thunder shot 50% within the part. Houston ignored its remaining 15 Three-pointers in the second one quarter, and Harden scored simply 8 issues on 2-for-10 capturing within the part.

The Rockets went on a 13-Zero run early in the second one part to regain the lead. Gilgeous-Alexander, who were chilly within the bubble, made 3 instantly Three-pointers to spotlight an 11-Zero run that put the Thunder forward once more. The Thunder hung on and led 78-77 on the finish of the 3rd quarter.

Oklahoma Town led 80-77 sooner than the Rockets broke away with a 17-Zero run, most commonly with Harden at the bench.

“Implausible, guy,” Harden mentioned. “That was once the sport proper there. The blokes simply took it upon themselves to protect and we felt within the sense Oklahoma Town was once getting drained and we simply stored urgent the fuel on them.”

Whilst the Rockets stored the power on, Oklahoma Town comfortable.

“I don’t know if it was once stagnant or sluggish, no matter it was once, however we weren’t essentially enjoying with that very same more or less pressure that we did in that first part,” Thunder trainer Billy Donovan mentioned.

Oklahoma Town’s Chris Paul, the All-Megastar guard, blamed himself. He was once held to 14 issues on 6-for-15 capturing.

“I’ve were given to do extra,” he mentioned. “Directly up. It’s that straightforward. That run they went on initially of the fourth quarter — that may’t occur. Were given to be higher. I’ve were given to be higher.”



Rockets: Made eight of 16 Three-pointers within the first quarter, however simply 2 of 19 in the second one. … Took 10 pictures throughout the Three-point line within the opening length. … Harden had 5 assists within the first quarter. … Didn’t have a turnover within the first part.

Thunder: Had 9 turnovers within the 3rd quarter. … C Steven Adams had 8 issues and 11 rebounds. He made all 4 of his pictures, however all have been within the first part. He went scoreless after the damage.


Thunder guard Lu Dort returned to the beginning lineup after lacking Recreation 1 with a proper knee sprain. He scored 8 issues in 25 mins.

“He wasn’t essentially on a mins restriction, however we needed to look at his mins this night, simply to be sure that he may no longer get set again,” Donovan mentioned.


Houston trainer Mike D’Antoni, joking concerning the bubble state of affairs and drawing amusing from his avid gamers: “I simply informed the workforce all we did was once shield house court docket. Now we need to pass to Oklahoma Town and play. So we need to come again 3rd recreation with similar more or less depth, similar more or less mentality and notice what occurs.”


Recreation Three is Saturday.

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