wnol.info September 26 2017

Rockets Rout Spurs 126-99 In Game 1 Of Western Conference Semifinals

September 26 2017, 07:22 | Van Peters

The Raptors were seemingly out for revenge after losing to the Cavs previous year in the playoffs, but trailed by double digits for most of the game en route to being blown out for the fourth straight time in Cleveland. We've been in these situations before where we've won by a lot, lost by a lot.

"If they shoot the ball like that, we'll just have to shake their hands", said Parker, who was exposed and humbled before his home crowd Monday.

"Their 3-point shooting is a problem", Brooks said of the Boston Celtics, who tied a franchise record with 19 treys in Sunday's 123-111 victory over the Wizards in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. The Spurs may have had the most efficient defense in the league this past regular season, but Houston cut through them without resistance.

"Sure we competed, but I don't think we executed in a very wise manner". Well, all the MVP ballots have been cast, but the Spurs' two-way monster could give a lot of folks voter's remorse if he can take down The Beard one round after the Rockets eliminated Russell Westbrook. They are an unstoppable offensive force. "And we never really found ours".

Besides that, San Antonio was no match for Houston on absolutely every facet of play. James Harden got everybody involved and finished with 14 assists on top of his 20 points, and Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza (who combined to shoot a combined 6-of-40 from three in the first round) nailed four and five triples, respectively, on 10 attempts each.

While the hot shooting wasn't completely unexpected from the explosive Rockets, the defense was. Kawhi Leonard and the annual powerhouse Spurs in the semifinals. Putting Kawhi Leonard at power forward and Aldridge at center provides the Spurs with floor spacing, and wouldn't sacrifice much on the defensive end.

Kawhi Leonard scored 21 of those points while also grabbing 11 boards and dishing out six assists, but Leonard can't do it all himself. It's also doubtful that the Rockets will play much better than they did for the rest of this series. That's a little bit of salve for this Thunder season.

A team like the Rockets will punish any defensive lapse.

The Rockets were on fire from 3-point range, hitting 12 of 27 3-pointers in the first half and finishing with 22 of 50.

To keep up with the Rockets, San Antonio will need to prepare for the speed and aggressiveness of their opponent. However, if they go cold, San Antonio can settle down and focus on picking apart a defense that isn't good. James has scored at least 30 points in 88 playoff games, tying Kobe Bryant for second on the career list.

"We can live with contested twos, we can live with contested shots at the rim, but to make spot-up threes ... that's what this team does".

Toronto dropped to 1-12 in playoff openers, and the Raptors got blown out in the playoffs for the fourth straight time in Cleveland. Tonight I was trying to rush because there were so many mismatches on me.

The game got testy in the second half with a pair of ejections.

But while the general public probably tuned out some time during the third quarter, Rockets fans likely watched in glee all night long - especially the contingent that made the trip to San Antonio.

"I was standing right next to him", said J.R. Smith. Nene did in right in front of an official and was promptly ejected before the start of the fourth quarter.

Head Coach Mike D'Antoni has brought his run and gun offense to Houston and has forced star James Harden to elevate his game. San Antonio got just four points and six rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge and eight points from Danny Green, all in the third quarter when the game was already decided.

San Antonio trailed by as many as 39 points in the team's largest game-one defeat in playoff history.

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