The Houston Rockets had another golden opportunity to take a big lead in the series against OKC, but three main things prevented them from doing so.
The Houston Rockets had an excellent opportunity to push the Oklahoma City Thunder to the brink of elimination. Instead, a clutch surge by Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder helped the Thunder secure a 117-114 Game 4 victory over the distraught Rockets, tying the first-round series at 2-2.
Both teams played to an even 60-60 tie going into the half. As the third quarter unfolded, Houston went on a 3-point barrage, making eight consecutive long-range bombs in the first six minutes of the quarter.
As a result of their red-hot offensive efficiency, the Rockets were poised to pull away and coast to a 3-1 series lead. However, the Thunder quickly gathered themselves and answered the Rockets’ scoring run with a 21-7 run of their own to end the third quarter.
A last-second fastbreak 3-pointer by Schroder cut the Rockets’ 15-point lead to only a one-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter. In the final frame, the Rockets went back and forth with the Thunder until Paul and Schroder made clutch shots in the late stages of the game while Houston continued their struggles from every aspect of the court.
Houston was down three with 26.3 seconds left after a driving Schroder layup. After P.J. Tucker missed his specialty corner 3-ball and Paul secured the huge rebound, OKC went on to close the game out.
Harden led all scorers with 32 points on 11-for-25 shooting from the floor. adding eight boards and 15 assists to his stat line. Houston allowed Paul and Schroder to combine for 56 points on 20-for-35 shooting for the game. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also added 18 points and 12 rebounds to the Thunder’s winning effort.
Numerous factors contributed to the Rockets’ major meltdown, but here are the three main ones that resulted in the Rockets’ demise at the hands of the Thunder.
Next: Reason No. 1