A late surge by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the final minutes of the first half helped catapult them past the Houston Rockets, 120-91, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. The 29 point win is the largest margin of victory for the Thunder in their franchise playoff history. With the score tied at 38 with four minutes left in the second quarter, the Thunder went on a 22-7 run to close out the quarter and take a 15 point lead into halftime. The Rockets never recovered.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points and 6 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Kevin Martin scored 16 points off the bench, but it was the Thunder big men who made the impact defensively. Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, as he and Kendrick Perkins controlled the paint, helping to hold the Rockets to just 33 percent shooting for the game.
James Harden scored 20 points, but no other Rocket starter scored in double digits. Omer Asik added 9 points and 7 rebounds, while Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, and Greg Smith all were making their playoff debuts. Parsons had a good stretch in the second quarter where he scored five points, including a put-back dunk on a missed lay-up by Patrick Beverly. But Parsons finished with just 9 points, and Lin scored just 4 points, and dished out 4 assists. Smith was a dreadful minus-34, and finished with just 6 points and 3 rebounds. Beverly and Carlos Delfino were the only other players to have scored in double-digits.
The Rockets have a lot to improve if they want to hold their ground in game 2.
“Believe it or not, I think this was good for us,” Harden said. “Losing like this was definitely good for us. Now we know how to play.”
“We really don’t have an excuse anymore,” said Lin, one of three Houston starters making their first career playoff apperance. “We’ve gotten it out and played terrible all the way across the board — offensively, defensively. That one’s over with.”
For the Rockets’ starting unit, they must look to find some sort of rhythm on the offensive end. The starting five shot just 17 for 50, including just 2 for 15 from behind the arc, and committing 13 turnovers.
Other than a surge by the Rockets from midway in the first quarter to midway through the second quarter, the Thunder had the lead in control. Oklahoma City started the game leading 13-2, and after the Rockets came back to tie the game, the Thunder went on a 14-1 to close out the first half. They never looked back after that.
“We wanted to take care of our home court,” Durant said. “We didn’t do anything yet.”
The Thunder are now 18-5 at home in their franchise’s playoff history.
Game 2 is set for Wednesday, at 7:00 PM EST (6:00 CST) on TNT.
|Greg Smith, PF||17||2-4||0-0||2-4||1||2||3||0||1||0||3||2||-34||6|
|Chandler Parsons, SF||25||4-11||1-5||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||0||1||3||-18||9|
|Omer Asik, C||27||4-9||0-0||1-4||3||4||7||2||0||0||3||3||-3||9|
|Jeremy Lin, PG||32||1-7||0-4||2-2||0||3||3||4||2||0||4||5||-23||4|
|James Harden, SG||34||6-19||1-6||7-7||0||6||6||2||1||0||2||3||-28||20|
|Terrence Jones, PF||18||2-7||0-2||0-2||4||4||8||1||0||1||1||0||-12||4|
|Donatas Motiejunas, PF||5||2-2||0-0||1-1||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||+4||5|
|Patrick Beverley, PG||28||4-10||2-5||1-1||1||3||4||4||2||0||1||4||-18||11|
|Aaron Brooks, PG||8||2-6||0-2||1-1||0||1||1||3||0||0||0||1||+2||5|
|James Anderson, SG||8||0-2||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||+4||0|
|Carlos Delfino, SG||26||4-10||2-7||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||0||0||2||-13||10|
|Francisco Garcia, SG||12||2-4||2-3||2-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||2||-6||8|
|Thomas Robinson, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Serge Ibaka, PF||27||7-11||1-2||2-4||2||5||7||1||0||3||0||1||+26||17|
|Kevin Durant, SF||34||7-15||1-5||9-9||0||6||6||4||2||2||2||3||+34||24|
|Kendrick Perkins, C||19||2-4||0-0||0-0||2||2||4||1||3||1||2||4||+24||4|
|Russell Westbrook, PG||30||7-15||1-2||4-4||0||8||8||10||2||0||4||2||+29||19|
|Thabo Sefolosha, SG||24||3-5||1-3||2-2||0||4||4||2||1||0||0||2||+21||9|
|Nick Collison, PF||19||4-4||0-0||0-0||1||4||5||4||0||1||0||3||+7||8|
|Ronnie Brewer, SF||8||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||-2||0|
|Perry Jones, SF||5||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||-4||0|
|Hasheem Thabeet, C||5||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||-4||2|
|Derek Fisher, PG||12||3-4||3-4||0-0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||+6||9|
|Reggie Jackson, PG||23||4-7||1-2||0-0||0||2||2||4||0||1||2||1||+3||9|
|Kevin Martin, SG||26||5-15||2-6||4-5||0||5||5||0||0||1||1||3||+9||16|
|DeAndre Liggins, SG||8||1-1||0-0||1-4||0||3||3||1||0||0||1||1||-4||3|