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Houston Rockets Preview: Game 4 vs. OKC Thunder

Apr 21, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) handles the ball in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Andre Roberson (21) during the first quarter in game three of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) handles the ball in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Andre Roberson (21) during the first quarter in game three of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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After missing their chance at a 3-0 lead, the Houston Rockets will have to win game four to remain in the driver’s seat for the series with the OKC Thunder.

Had the Houston Rockets stolen game three from the Thunder, this first round series would be all but over. No team in the history of the NBA has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win. However, James Harden‘s buzzer-beater rattled out and the two teams find themselves in a competitive series.

If the Rockets lose game four today, they’ll have relinquished their control and momentum in the series to their opponent. That being said, look for Houston’s squad to come out with energy, unlike the preview two contests.

Houston had a practice yesterday in preparation for today’s game, and nobody was feeling worried or down on themselves after the recent loss. According to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, things were “calm and normal” at practice. In other words, James Harden came in singing with his shorts pulled up too high.

James Harden jamming out to Adele. pic.twitter.com/GwARn55l4d

— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) September 28, 2016

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The Rockets practiced with confidence yesterday, primarily because they’ve spent this whole season bouncing back after losses. Throughout the entire regular season, the team only went through three losing streaks, and only one such streak was longer than two games. If any team can rally back to take game four, it’s the Houston Rockets.

At some point, playoff game previews begin to sound the same. Just like Houston’s every other game against the Thunder, there’s no reason why they should lose. They’re the better team, and have a superstar who fits more perfectly with his system. The Rockets will have nobody to blame but themselves if they falter.

If Houston makes even a marginally respectable percentage of their threes, they’ll be able to get the W, even if they don’t start well. If they make long bombs and get off to a non-sluggish start, the final score of game four could look similar to game one’s.

Next: Looking at Houston's Cap Space Situation for Free Agency

This is an early game today, tipping off at 2:30 CT from Oklahoma City. It’ll be broadcast only on ABC, with ROOT Sports SW showing an Astros game instead.

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