For the first time in the series, the Houston Rockets were able to close out the game after holding a lead in the final minutes of the game. The win prevented a sweep by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and forces a game 5 Wednesday night in OKC.
Chandler Parsons led the way for the Rockets, with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Patrick Beverley added 16 points. The Rockets played without Jeremy Lin, who was unable to go with his bruised chest.
The Rockets had held leads in the fourth quarter of each of the previous two games only to end up losing.
“We felt the pain and frustration from the last two losses … and we didn’t want that to happen for the third straight time,” Parsons said.
It almost did.
Kevin Durant scored five quick points to cut the Rockets’ lead to two. James Harden missed two shots for Houston on the next possession, which set up the Thunder with one last chance.
Reggie Jackson missed a jump shot, and Serge Ibaka grabbed the rebound but missed a layup at the buzzer.
Ibaka’s miss kept Houston from being swept in the playoffs for the first time since 1996.
“Getting this first win gives us confidence going back to Oklahoma City, and anything can happen,” Harden said.
Most impressive for the Rockets was that they were able to win despite a poor game from Harden, who finished with just 15 points on 4 for 12 shooting and committed 10 turnovers. The supporting cast stepped up. Omer Asik scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and Carlos Delfino scored 13 points off the bench and made two highlight plays.
With the Thunder up 60-50 late in the second quarter, Delfino ripped the ball from Durant’s hands as he was bringing the ball up the court, and burying a three, closing Thunder lead to just 7 going into halftime. In the third quarter, Delfino ripped Kevin Martin and had a clear open dunk, with Durant trailing on the other side of the basket. Durant went up for the block, only to come up short as Delfino slammed it and drew a foul on Durant.
Francisco Garcia, who started in place of Lin, played 37 minutes and did an outstanding job containing Durant, who finished with 38 points. Reggie Jackson added 18 points, and Martin scored 16 points off the bench.
The Thunder held another double digit lead, as they were up by as much as 15 in the second quarter. But the Rockets went on a 15-0 run from the final minutes of the first half all the way into the third quarter. This has become a pattern now in the series as the Thunder held double digit leads in games 2 and 3 as well, only to see the Rockets come back.
The Rockets will be heading into Oklahoma City Wednesday night on a mission.
|Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Serge Ibaka, PF||34||3-8||0-0||2-2||2||3||5||2||0||3||2||2||-15||8|
|Kevin Durant, SF||42||12-16||1-2||13-15||1||7||8||6||1||0||7||5||-3||38|
|Kendrick Perkins, C||9||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||4||4||-17||0|
|Reggie Jackson, PG||36||7-18||2-7||2-2||1||3||4||3||2||0||2||5||+3||18|
|Thabo Sefolosha, SG||30||2-5||1-4||0-0||1||1||2||2||2||0||1||4||-19||5|
|Nick Collison, PF||14||1-4||0-0||1-2||2||4||6||2||1||2||0||0||+13||3|
|Derek Fisher, PG||29||4-7||4-5||0-0||1||1||2||1||0||0||1||4||+8||12|
|DeAndre Liggins, SG||14||1-2||1-2||0-0||0||5||5||0||1||0||0||1||+7||3|
|Kevin Martin, SG||33||5-11||2-5||4-4||1||2||3||2||2||0||3||1||+13||16|
|Perry Jones, SF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Ronnie Brewer, SF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hasheem Thabeet, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Jeremy Lamb, SG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
Fast break points: 9
Points in the paint: 22
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 22 (31)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.
|Chandler Parsons, SF||41||11-21||3-6||2-3||2||8||10||8||0||1||3||5||+5||27|
|Omer Asik, C||38||7-10||0-0||3-5||8||6||14||1||1||1||3||4||+2||17|
|Patrick Beverley, PG||37||5-10||2-4||4-4||1||3||4||3||1||1||0||3||+6||16|
|James Harden, SG||35||4-12||0-4||7-8||0||1||1||3||5||1||10||5||+9||15|
|Francisco Garcia, SG||37||3-9||3-7||0-0||1||1||2||1||1||1||1||5||-5||9|
|Greg Smith, PF||10||0-1||0-0||1-2||1||0||1||0||0||2||0||1||0||1|
|Aaron Brooks, PG||16||3-7||1-1||0-0||1||2||3||2||0||0||2||0||-4||7|
|Carlos Delfino, SG||26||4-6||3-5||2-2||0||4||4||3||2||0||3||3||-3||13|
|Terrence Jones, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Thomas Robinson, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Donatas Motiejunas, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Jeremy Lin, PG||DNP BRUISED RIGHT CHEST MUSCLE|
|James Anderson, SG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|