After having a commanding 3-0 lead in their grasp, the Houston Rockets suffered a tough overtime loss in Game 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Despite forcing overtime in Game 3 of their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets were unable to get the job done once James Harden fouled out. This game seemed in hand for Houston with one minute to go and shouldn’t have even gone into overtime, as one more made free throw or one fewer controversial turnover would have given them an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the series.
This game felt different as early as the first quarter. Late in the first, the Thunder had already taken 11 free throws by the time the Rockets had gotten their first two. This was also a game in which the Rockets did not move the ball around as much, with a couple of key players getting fewer than two shots up.
Also different was the defensive performance from the Rockets. While it did not regress to pre-bubble standards, it was not quite as smothering or disciplined as it was in the first two games of the series. A 2-1 lead is not exactly bad, but giving the Thunder confidence is the last thing the Rockets want to do.
The Rockets need to win Game 4 to avoid giving the Thunder the momentum they need to make this series theirs. They can not replicate this performance if want to do so.
Next: The Starters