Houston Rockets: Player grades from last-minute collapse against Thunder

Houston Rockets Danuel House (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Danuel House (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets Starters

B +. Despite a series-high 38 points for Harden, the Beard was not as efficient as he was in Game 1, shooting a decent-enough 44 percent from the field and an abysmal 23 percent from deep. Harden also saw a free-throw percentage that is lower than his season average, shooting 73 percent from the charity stripe. Some of these free throws came at pretty important times, and in a game that could have been a win with one more made free throw, these misses look worse. <p>He also fouled out in overtime when the team needed him the most, which resulted in the total collapse that resulted in the loss. Still, Harden had eight assists, seven rebounds, only one turnover, and the highest plus-minus on the team.</p>. Guard. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN

ROBERT COVINGTON. C +. Robert Covington is a bit tricky to grade in this game, as he only played 19 minutes and put up two shots total, hitting one of them and both of his free throws for five points. However, his low number of minutes is due to his early foul trouble. The Rockets cannot afford to have one of their two best defenders lose time because of foul trouble — a result of the less disciplined defensive approach of the entire team. While some questionable officiating didn’t help Covington, his relatively low contribution towards winning this game was represented in his plus-minus of -16, the second-worst on the team.. Forward. Houston Rockets

D. Game 3 was not P.J. Tucker’s game. With as many fouls as points (five for each), 2-for-7 from the field and 1-for-5 from behind the arc is not going to get it done. While his eight rebounds and usual standout defense were nice to see what really earns Tucker this grade is his inbounding blunder that arguably cost the Rockets the game. It may be true that Steven Adams touched the ball on its way out of bounds and the officials made a terrible error, but even with that being the case, it was not a smart pass at all in what was an absolutely crucial point in the game. This kind of thing almost never happens with Tuck, but it came at an awful time in this game.. Forward. Houston Rockets. P.J. TUCKER

D. With by far the worst plus-minus on the team, Eric Gordon was plainly unreliable in this game. Though he dropped 18 points, his shooting was unacceptable. It’s difficult to overcome 33 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from three when the rest of the team is not going off. While he did have three blocks and only three fouls in a good defensive performance, his five turnovers and several bad decisions on the offensive end more than cancel those out. Gordon continues to show how much impact he has on this team’s playoff success.. Small Forward. Houston Rockets. ERIC GORDON

B -. Danuel House is another player that is tricky to grade for this game. Looking at his stats would tell you that he had a pretty good game. With 15 points on 50 percent shooting from both the field and from three, a team-high 10 rebounds, and only three fouls, House did not have a bad performance by any means. What really docks House’s grade is one game-altering free throw. With only seconds left and the Thunder up by one, House went to the free-throw line to shoot a pair after being tripped. Unfortunately, he only made one of these instead of both. The Thunder proceeded to fail in scoring another basket, forcing the game into overtime. Had House made his second free throw, the Rockets would have walked away with a win, however ugly it may have been. This major play and the second-highest amount of turnovers on the team keep him from receiving a higher grade.. Small Forward. Houston Rockets. DANUEL HOUSE

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