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NBA playoffs 2017: Rockets beat Thunder despite Russell Westbrook's big night NBA

2017-04-20 17:21:43 | Author:Ron Clements | Source:sportingnews
Abstract:Russell Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to record a 50-point triple-double in the playoffs. But it came in a losing effort.

The Thunder guard scored 51 points to go with 10 rebounds and 13 assists, but went ice cold from the floor in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied for a 115-111 victory to take a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

The Thunder held a 92-86 lead after three quarters, but Westbrook made only 4 of his 18 shots in the final quarter and was just 2 of 11 from behind the 3-point line for the game. Westbrook's 18 shots in the final quarter were more than any of Thunder player attempted during the game. 

Backcourt mate Victor Oladipo scored 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting and forward Andre Roberson was 6 of 12 for 12 points. Oklahoma City, as a team, went 40 of 97 (41.2 percent) from the floor and Westbrook attempted 43 shots by himself, making only 17. 

"I don't give a f— about the line. We lost," Westbrook said following the game. 

While Westbrook is a top contender for NBA MVP, Houston's MVP candidate had a much more efficient night. James Harden was 7 of 17 from the floor, including 3 of 7 from long range, to finish with a team-high 35 points and eight assists. The Rockets also got 15 points from guard Patrick Beverley, who provided some late heroics as Houston went on a 10-0 run to take a 114-104 lead with 1:22 remaining. 

Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each were 8 of 14 off the bench as Gordon had 22 points and Williams finished with 21. A Gordon 3-pointer with 8:07 remaining gave the Rockets their first lead of the game at 96-94. 

The Thunder might be in trouble if Westbrook can't get some help, or allow his teammates to help, as the series moves to Oklahoma City for Friday's Game 3. 

Studs of the Night

Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal both had big games in Washington's 109-101 win over the Hawks. Wall scored 32 points to go with five rebounds and nine assists. Beal had 31 points, including a 3-pointer off a Wall assist with 38 seconds remaining that helped seal the victory.

Wizards defeat Hawks 109-101

(WAS: Wall 32 Pts 9 Ast, Beal 31 Pts)

(ATL: Millsap 27 Pts 10 Reb)

WAS leads 2-0 
pic.twitter.com/IRe9aKJnre

— The Lead (@NBALEAD) April 20, 2017

Wall and Beal are the first Washington combo to each score at least 30 points in a playoff game since Jeff Malone and Cliff Robinson in 1986. 

Duds of the Night

Blame Westbrook if you want for being a ballhog, but he got little support fom his teammates. Outside of Roberson's 12 points and 11 from Oladipo, only Doug McDermott was in double figures. McDermott scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including a trio of 3-pointers, in 17 minutes. McDermott was 3 of 4 from downtown, but the rest of the Thunder went 4 of 26 from behind the arc. Oladipo was 1 of 7 from 3 while Roberson missed all three of his long-range attempts.  

Highlights

Westbrook may have had the play of the night when he weaved his way through the Rockets defense. 

Too much sauce 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3Fx44DHjxZ

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 20, 2017

Harden did his best to match Westbrook in the fourth quarter.

Beard gonna Beard 👀

Harden is up to 30 points as 
@HoustonRockets lead 101-100 midway through the 4Q. Catch the finish on TNT! #NBAPlayoffspic.twitter.com/A8yGP46tXZ

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 20, 2017

Thursday game to watch

Game 3: Raptors at Bucks, 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV (Series tied 1-1) — The Bucks dominated Game 1 in Toronto, but the Raptors evened up the series before it moves to Milwaukee. The Bucks' young players should be more comfortable at home, where Giannis Antetokounmpo has averaged nearly three points more per game than on the road. 


Related Information:

Rockets beat Thunder