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NBA playoffs 2017: Rockets eliminate Thunder, end Russell Westbrook's historic season

2017-04-26 14:38:52 | Author:Ron Clements | Source:sportingnews
Abstract:The Thunder needed Russell Westbrook to play all 48 minutes of Tuesday's first-round playoff game against the Rockets.

He played 42 minutes, and rested for the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. The Thunder held a three-point lead after three quarters. By the time Westbrook returned, the Thunder were down by five and never recovered in a 105-99 Rockets victory.

With the win, the Rockets eliminated the Thunder from the playoffs with a 4-1 series victory. 

In the six minutes Westbrook was off the floor, the Rockets outscored the Thunder 27-9. Westbrook was visibly gassed in the fourth quarter, going just 2 of 11 from the floor. Westbrook was still able to hustle to a couple of rebounds in the final minute to keep the Thunder close, but it wasn't enough to keep the Thunder alive. 

Westbrook's historic season, with an NBA-record 42 triple-doubles and becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season to average a triple-double, came to an end with another bit of statistical history. With his 47 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists on Tuesday, Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to have at least 150 points, 50 rebounds and 50 assists through the first five games of a playoff series.

Houston's James Harden, Westbrook's main competitor for NBA MVP, scored 34 points with eight rebounds and four assists to lead the Rockets, who await the winner of the Grizzlies-Spurs series. The Spurs took a 3-2 series lead with Tuesday's 116-103 victory.

Studs of the night

Patrick Beverley was the catalyst for the Rockets on Tuesday. The Houston guard scored 15 points to go with eight rebounds and three assists, but was also a defensive dynamo while locked primarily on Westbrook, who attempted an NBA playoff-record 18 3-pointers and made just five of them. Westbrook was 15 of 34 from the floor and the Thunder shot just 38.5 percent as a team.

Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Spurs to Tuesday's win. Leonard and Tony Parker, who scored 15 points, each added six assists. Patty Mills scored 20 points off the bench, and went 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

Dud of the night

Clippers center Marreese Speights had just one point and zero rebounds while playing 11 minutes in the first half of Tuesday's 96-92 loss to the Jazz. He was benched after halftime as 39-year-old Paul Pierce began the second half in the post. The 29-year-old Speights did not score in the second half in only two minutes of action. Pierce had six points and three boards in 14 total minutes. 

Highlight

Eric Gordon may have had just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, but he did throw down a monster dunk in the second quarter. He caught the ball behind the 3-point line, from which he went just 1 of 8, but blew past Doug McDermott for the drive to the hoop.

Eric Gordon with the poster!

pic.twitter.com/FUaGKdcsrP

— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) April 26, 2017

Wednesday's game to watch

Game 5: Bulls at Celtcis, 8:30 p.m. ET (Series tied 2-2) — After each team won two games on the other's home floor, the Celtics will try to win back home-court advantage at TD Garden. Isaiah Thomas and Jimmy Butler have led the way for their respective teams. Whomever gets the most help Wednesday will likely be the one with his team holding the series lead. 



Related Information:

Rockets Russell Westbrook