Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets
It is a win or go home situation. That is what the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder face when they square off in Game 7 of their Western Conference quarterfinals game on Wednesday. This has been a series where the “home” team has won all six games.
Oklahoma City was a 5.5 point underdog in Game 6, but pulled off a stunning four-point upset, forcing a Game 7.
Can the Momentum Be StoppedThe Oklahoma City Thunder carry the momentum into Game 7 after pulling off the upset in Game 6, but they carried the momentum into Game 5 after winning Games 3 and 4 and that did them little good. The Rockets crushed them by 24, so momentum is likely to be no factor at all in this game.
Chris Paul looks to help his team advance after scoring 28 points in Game 6. He almost single-handedly willed the Thunder to victory, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter. Danilo Gallinari scored 25 and Steven Adams grabbed 15 rebounds.
Scoring has not been a problem for the Thunder for the most part. Their biggest challenge has been defense and Lugentz Dort and Dennis Schroeder were exceptional on defense, helping to slow down the Houston offense.
It is whether the Thunder can continue to pressure the Rockets defensively that will determine who wins this game. The three-guard lineup has been very effective against Houston and that will likely be a key to this game.
Harden, Westbrook Look for RedemptionThe dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden looked to close out Game 6, sending Houston onto the Western Conference semifinals. After a 24-point victory in Game 5, it looked like all systems were go, but Westbrook had just 17 points and the Rockets were unable to close out the series. The Rockets lead by six with two minutes left but failed to close the deal. That must sting.
Game 6 was one Westbrook would like to erase from his memory. Not only did he score a disappointing 17, but he also had seven turnovers. That included turning the ball over on the final play for the Rockets, costing them a chance to at least tie the score.
The truth is that this was a bad night all around. Eric Gordon was 3-12 shooting for nine points and he had four turnovers. An ugly game all the way around.
One constant is the play of Harden, who scored 32-points despite a solid defensive effort from Dort and Schroder. He will have to hit some key three-pointers and Westbrook will have to improve his ball security.
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games at home when facing a team with a winning record on the road.
- 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games against a team with a winning percentage greater than .600.
Oklahoma City Thunder:
- 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a victory.
- 0-5 ATS on the road in their last five games when facing a team with a winning record at home.