The Rockets beat the Thunder in a potential playoff preview Sunday afternoon with a 137-125 win. It was an offensive explosion for the Rockets, who shot 63.3 percent from the floor and were up twenty at halftime thanks to a season-high 79-point first half.
Houston started the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back. They had a 20-point lead at halftime and a 25-point lead after the third. Oklahoma City cut that lead to as low as eight points in the fourth, but the Rockets had too much offense today. Everyone was clicking and on point with their shot even with Ryan Anderson out with an ankle injury.
Eric Gordon got the start in Anderson’s place and had 24 points. Ariza matched Gordon’s total on 9-for-11 shooting from the field, including 6-for-8 from downtown. The Rocket bench outscored the Thunder bench 56-40, but in a more impressive stat, the Rockets only had three players come off the bench, while the Thunder had seven.
Leading the bench was Sweet Lou Williams with 31 points on 11-for-15 shooting and 7-for-8 from downtown. Sam Dekker also had a bounce back game with 8 points, 5 boards, and a team-leading +18. Nene also scored 17 off the bench, including this sick Eurostep that you won’t see from any other big in the game.
NENE WITH THE STEAL AND EURO STEP. pic.twitter.com/xrzpeikUdD— Red Nation Hoops (@RedNationHoops) March 26, 2017
Oklahoma City had a strong effort from Russell Westbrook, who had another triple-double with 39 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists, which automatically means he is the MVP, am I right? LOL. But in all seriousness, this game really didn’t have much effect on the MVP race for me. Russ had the better stats, but the Rockets won, and what really matters here? It will only add fuel to the fire of this debate, but Russ didn’t hurt his case with his stats, and James Harden definitely didn’t hurt his case with his win.
James, however, did hurt his wrist late in the fourth quarter. It was the same left wrist he fell on last week against Denver. Obviously, all of Red Nation’s hearts skipped a beat and he had his wrist wrapped up after the game, but he said in an interview after the game that he was fine and that there should be no concerns.
This game brought us many questions, but we leave this game with the continuation of several debates. Who is the MVP? Should the Rockets rest their guys? Can Mike D’Antoni ever have a game where he doesn’t get pissed about a call when we’re up by more than twenty?
All this, and more, next time, on The Houston Rockets 2016-2017 season! Catch the continuation of this historic and unbelievable season Tuesday as the Rockets take on the Warriors. Tipoff is at 7 PM CT.