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Game 2: Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preview

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Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game One Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Oklahoma City Thunder must-win Game 2 against the Houston Rockets, or their season may be over.

The Rockets’ unfamiliar defensive style got the best of the Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoff game in Orlando.

Houston’s small-ball lineup confused Thunder’s guards and stopped them cold from driving into the lane. The Rockets were able to prevent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schröder, who can make it into the paint, by limiting them for a combined 5-for-20 from the field.

To solidify a win in Game 2, OKC must play at a faster tempo offensively, so Houston can’t get set defensively.

Power forward Danilo Gallinari will need to perform beautifully again in Game 2. In Game 1, he scored a team-high 29 points and was money from the free-throw line by going 9-for-9.

OKC will again need to stop James Harden, who led the Rockets with a game-high 37 points. The Beard was unstoppable from downtown going 6-of-13. Harden also went 12-of-22 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. The Thunder will need to make sure Houston’s bench doesn’t get the best of them either since they outscored OKC’s bench 42 to 27.

Thursday’s game tips off at 2:30 p.m. and will be shown on Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Southwest, and ESPN.

Poll

Who wins Game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Thunder
    (20 votes)
  • 67%
    Rockets
    (41 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now