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Rockets overcome Westbrook's 51, take 2-0 lead over Thunder
October 19 2017, 11:42 | Van Peters
Westbrook returned to the game when the fourth quarter, and Oklahoma City quickly scored five in a row, but the Rockets scored the next 10 points to take their lead of the night, and only trailed for 14 seconds of the game's last eight minutes.
As if that wasn't enough, Westbrook broke the record for the most triple-doubles in a single season with 42 and also claimed the league's scoring title. However, he struggled with his shot, going 6-for-23 from the field.
Despite the impressive stat line when it mattered he came up short. It's the game Donovan would consistently reference as the one example of offense that wasn't sustainable for this team.
"I don't give a (expletive) about the line", Westbrook said. Westbrook's efficiency numbers dropped in kind, and those that think Harden should win MVP over Westbrook gained another point to make in their admittedly compelling case. Until the final frame, Westbrook was playing efficient, controlled basketball and carrying his team offensively while keeping his teammates in the fold.
Andre Roberson was once again the second leading scorer for the Thunder with 12 points. Oddly, they dominated the offensive glass against the Thunder, expected to be a strength for OKC. Harden? He took just four shots and was plus-three in the box. It's all about money but I will still do my best to offer you the best LEGAL way to watch your favorite team. He had 10 assists in the first half (only three the rest of the game).
That decision played right into the Rockets' hands. Donovan experimented with a bunch of guys and that may have hurt them. It is a shame that they stuck it in their back pocket when it was needed most. But supporting casts generally play better at home. However, the game should be competitive and the Thunder should cover the 7.5 points.
The rebounding was much better.
"A lot of times you do battle uphill and at the end you do fall back down because of the energy you had (to expend) to get back in the game", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. The Houston Rockets are allowing 27.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 46.5 rebounds per game. This helped cause more fast breaks and cause less second chance points from the Rockets. Westbrook also missed multiple wide-open three-pointers in crunch time.
Fifty points is an unbelievable feat. That formula seems to be the way the voters go, and history shows that whether it's 1961-62 or 2016-17, it's still a team game.
Some things can improve.
When Westbrook is on his game, he is nearly unstoppable, but he becomes a detriment to his team when he tries to do too much. When it comes to deciding the MVP, assists are one of the bigger things to look at.
If the Thunder want to win this series, Westbrook must involve those around him.
Westbrook said he doesn't need Oladipo to do any more than he normally does - or did during the regular season.
Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston (see full recap).
The score could have been much worse if Houston were more efficient with their threes. But Dwight Howard had only seven rebounds, half his Game 1 total, and six points. Adams had 5 points and 7 rebounds. Westbrook is literally carrying the thunder on his back and is doing so at a high level.
The Rockets officially took a 2-0 lead in the series after beating the Thunder 115-111. To put this in perspective, the Thunder's bench combined for a mere 24 points.