Houston Rockets: Player grades from tone-setting, wire-to-wire victory
By Josh Paredes
The Houston Rockets had to do a lot of things well to make up for the absence of Russell Westbrook, and that’s exactly what they did in Game 1 against OKC.
With a dangerous Oklahoma City Thunder team eager to continue their hot streak, we knew the Houston Rockets needed to execute well to establish an early series lead. Without one of their best facilitators and playmakers on the floor, James Harden was going to need several teammates to step up in Russell Westbrook’s place.
Fortunately, the supporting cast for the Rockets got the memo from the jump on Tuesday evening. Behind 37 points from James Harden, four other Rockets scored in double figures to help carry them to a 123-108 victory over Chris Paul and the Thunder.
As a team, Houston made 20-of-52 shots from downtown and only turned the ball over seven times on the night. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, coughed the ball up 13 times and just couldn’t seem to figure out how to stop the potent Rockets offense.
In a game where Houston led by as many as 23 and only went down by as many as three, let’s break down how well the Rockets played in their Orlando bubble playoff debut.
Next: The Starters