Houston Rockets: Player grades from tone-setting, wire-to-wire victory

Houston Rockets Eric Gordon (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Eric Gordon (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets Bench

A +. I’m starting to run out of adjectives for how well Jeff Green has been playing. Tremendous? Glorious? Superb? Green wasted no time upon checking into the game: standing toe-to-toe with Steven Adams to force a turnover and then converting an and-one soon after with a nifty corner fake and running one-hander. Jeff made multiple moves that I wasn’t sure he still could do and made it look easy. In the end, Green ended the evening with 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting while dishing out four dimes and pulling down six boards. Oh yeah, the Rockets were also +28 with him on the court.. Forward. Houston Rockets. JEFF GREEN

Guard. Houston Rockets. BEN MCLEMORE. A -. Many guys are nervous in their playoff debut: Ben McLemore wasn’t one of those guys. The sharpshooter nailed four of his seven shots from downtown, which is all the Rockets ask him to do. His presence alone helped Houston space the floor for James Harden to go to work, which accounts for why Ben’s plus/minus was also through the roof, at +27.

Houston Rockets. AUSTIN RIVERS. B -. With Eric Gordon showing up big and McLemore right behind him, Austin Rivers was only asked to play 18 minutes on Tuesday. He had a couple of nice plays that included a fake three and drive to the bucket and another strong drive that resulted in two free throws. Other than that, he missed four of his five shots, but his four rebounds in limited minutes was a welcome contribution.. Guard

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A game like the Rockets had was just the confidence boost they needed to get the temporary loss of Westbrook out of their minds. That said, you just know Chris Paul isn’t going to go down without a fight, and his young Thunder teammates will likely respond in Game 2.

The Rockets will need to have an encore performance for the grudge match on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN.