Although a series can be as long as seven games, the Thunder’s performance in Game 1 was certainly concerning. The Rockets routed the Thunder 118-87 on the back of James Harden’s 37 points, nine assists, and seven boards.
Russell Westbrook scored 22 points on just 6-of-23 shots and nine turnovers last night. The blame for the loss isn’t squarely on Westbrook, though: the Rockets out-rebounded the Thunder 56-41, and only two of Westbrook’s teammates hit double digits.
“We’ve got to do a better job starting with myself — got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball and making some shots,” Westbrook said.
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Andre Roberson certainly brought it in Game 1, though, scoring 18 (including hitting 4-of-6 from three), grabbing seven boards, and also tallying two steals and three blocks. Jerami Grant scored 10 points and pulled down five boards.
Patrick Beverley scored 21 points for the Rockets, and was an absolute nuisance on the defensive end. Nene Hilario scored 15, pulling down five rebounds. Clint Capela score 14 on 7-of-9 shooting.
Beverley seemed to be the X-factor for the Rockets, influencing the game in all facets:
“That’s the reason we’re in the position we’re in,” James Harden said after the game. “He brings it every game. Whether his shot is falling or not, he brings that intensity, that resolve. He was just Pat tonight.”
The Rockets now lead 1-0. Game 2 will be Wednesday night in Houston at 7 P.M.