In a "make-or-miss" league, occasionally games occur when an opponent’s makes reach an inordinate amount. This afternoon, such was Oklahoma City's fate as Houston buried 20-39 3PA, while shooting 63/51/81 overall.
Though OKC’s rotations lagged, one gets the feeling that even a stringent Thunder defense would have proven ineffective opposite the Rockets’ myriad deep three-point baskets.
Russell Westbrook’s (39 pts, 13 ast, 11 reb) 36th triple-double paled before Lou Williams (31), Trevor Ariza (24), Eric Gordon (24) and James Harden’s (22 pts, 12 ast) cohesive performance.
Further, Houston’s three-man bench out-scored OKC’s full compliment of reserves 56-50.
While Oklahoma City battled late, the season finale between these potential first-round playoff opponents was already decided by a 79-point Rockets halftime tally.
To summarize, OKC simply appeared as a flat, two-dimensional iteration before a flowing and fully-formed Houston collective.
From their home floor, the Rockets presented seven unsolved two-way riddles before a perplexed Thunder collective that still contested 74% of Houston’s FGA.
Oklahoma City dropped a hard-fought season-series 3-1 to Houston.
As ten games remain on OKC’s calendar, the 41-31 Thunder tenuously cling to the conference’s #6 seed. Meanwhile, #3 Houston (51-31) is essentially locked in behind Golden State and San Antonio.
Houston has now won seven of eight. Oklahoma City is 6-2 during its past eight starts.
Billy Donovan’s crew finishes a Texas-sized back-to-back set tomorrow vs. recent road-block Dallas.