On this day in 2017, Russell Westbrook’s 47 points weren’t enough to keep the Houston Rockets from knocking the Oklahoma City Thunder out of the playoffs.
Before he became the dynamic starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook was carrying the Oklahoma City Thunder to playoff appearances on his back. After Kevin Durant departed at the end of the 2016 season, Westbrook was still able to lead them to the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Unfortunately for Russ, the number-three seed Houston Rockets were on a roll and lying in wait, boasting the second-best offense in the NBA. James Harden was coming off a regular season in which he put up 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Eric Gordon, meanwhile, was in peak sixth man form, averaging 16.2 points per game to help him win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award that season.
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As the playoff series began, the Rockets showed no mercy in a 31-point beatdown of the Thunder in Game 1.
The next three games in the series would all be decided by four points or less, however, with Houston taking two of those games to set up a clinching game at home.
Just like the previous three games, Game 5 was close throughout, with the Thunder taking a 77-72 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the end, though, Westbrook just didn’t have enough help to extend the series, as the Rockets defeated OKC 105-99 to wrap it up in five games.
Westbrook finished with superhuman numbers of 47 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, just one assist shy of a triple-double. The next leading scorers for the Thunder were Jerami Grant and Alex Abrines with 11 points each.
James Harden had a monster game of his own, scoring 34 points, pulling down eight rebounds and dishing out four assists. Lou Williams contributed 22 off the bench while Patrick Beverley scored 15 of his own.
Russel Westbrook went on to lead the Thunder to two more playoff appearances before being traded to the Rockets this past summer. Something tells me his streak of losing in the first round will be coming to an end in H-Town — the only question is when.