The Rockets advanced on the strength of another great second half in Game 5.
The Houston Rockets have officially finished off the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
They did it in blowout fashion yet again, winning the game 122-104. This was the fourth time the Rockets beat the Timberwolves this season by 18 points.
It was the role players who stepped up in the first half to keep the Rockets alive. Then, Harden and Paul started to cook.
Let’s look at the stats:
James Harden: 24 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers
Clint Capela: 26 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Chris Paul: 12 points, 9 assists, 0 turnovers
Eric Gordon: 19 points
How the Rockets won
Houston won thanks to a spectacular second half, as per usual. The game was close throughout the first two quarters and the T-Wolves even led at halftime. But James Harden and co. came back and put the Wolves to sleep.
Clint Capela was truly spectacular. He outplayed All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns pretty much the entire series and has cemented himself as a top center in this league.
We finally saw a bad game from Andrew Wiggins. He really came alive this series but ended poorly, shooting 5-16 from the field and a -16 plus-minus.
P.J. Tucker was incredible. He poured in five 3s and helped stretch the floor all night. That shooting will be huge if the Rockets want to keep progressing in the playoffs.
Second Round Possibilities
The Rockets await the result of the Utah-Oklahoma City series. The Jazz currently lead that one 3-2 with Game 6 going back to Utah.
The Thunder did, however, come back from down 25 tonight for a much-needed victory. Will they make the series interesting?
Either way, Houston will likely start the second round sometime early in the week. For now, they get to enjoy the extended break as a result of taking care of business.