Online Broadband Guide
Online Broadband Guide


Westbrook, Harden Friendship on Hold During Series

Westbrook, Harden Friendship on Hold During Series

James Harden was ice cold from behind the 3-point arc. By halftime he'd missed four more from beyond the arc.

"He does it every game", said Harden, who finished with 37 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.

So on Sunday night, in trouncing the Thunder by a score of 118-87, not only did the Rockets absolutely and utterly curb stomp Oklahoma City into a 1-0 deficit in their best of seven playoff series, but they are also one-fourth of the way to exposing the Westbrook MVP voters for the surface-thinking, raw-stat worshipping humps that they are. "He's just staring me down". This game, with the game-winning shot and all, may have earned him his first Most Valuable Player award. In Houston's spread floor offense, Harden has carte blanche, room to create, to paint the ideal scoring picture.

Coming in, rebounding was considered one of Oklahoma City's lone advantageous areas opposite Houston.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden is incredibly hard to defend, especially for a center. They doubled up the Thunder on the offensive glass; OKC's second-leading rebounder, Steven Adams, only had five boards total. "The bigs, especially me, played trash on the reads, and the pick-and-rolls were absolute garbage".

"We just gotta bounce back", Gibson said.

While his numbers were surreal, most paid attention to the rivals - the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sunday, they were outrebounded 56-41.

"He just has a way of getting you fired up", Watt said. And for good reason, throughout the regular campaign, OKC led the National Basketball Association (46.6) in rebounding; whereas, Houston (44.4) ranked eighth. With the Rockets shooting this hot, they'll definitely be a handful. After crashing to the floor, Beverley made all three of the shots he took for eight points. "He sees so many bodies every night and so many double teams". Not only did the Rockets win, but he went 13-for-28 shooting compared to Brodie's 6-for-23 display. And they were switching everything and he was just exploiting what was there.

While averaging 11.4 assists in a season is elite, regardless of who you are passing to, it is made a lot easier when your teammates are capitalizing on their open looks.

Even as the Thunder adequately halted Houston's overt three-point tendencies (10-33 3PA), this undertaking was waylayed by the Rockets' unabated post presence.

Beverley's job is to be the Rockets' antagonist, and he plays it on and off the court.

"He's confident in what he has", Harden said.

Game two of the series is Tuesday at the Garden.

The Thunder's offense was a tire fire in Game 1 against the Houston Rockets, managing just 87.7 points per 100 possessions, a mark that would have ranked last in the league by almost 13 points. While Denver was playing for a spot in the postseason, Oklahoma City was playing to get Westbrook in the history books. "I try to get these guys shots, making sure everyone is in a good rhythm".

Yet, with Beverly in tow, Victor Oladipo's output dwindled (17-44 FG in 3 losses vs. Hou) as Westbrook's number of forced attempts (27 FGA) rose.

Then Beverley got up and acted as if nothing had happened. When he was subbed out a few minutes later, Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who was sitting courtside next to the Rockets bench.

Beverley was not put down for long by Adams' screen.

Game 2 is Wednesday night at Toyota Center.

follow

editors' picks

April 17, 2017
Monte Carlo Masters 2017
Murray's place at the Monte Carlo Country Club was confirmed after he was entered into the draw for this year's competition . Rafael Nadal's bid to his tenth title in the Masters 1000 of Monte Carlo won't be easy.

April 16, 2017
IS launches chlorine gas attacks in western Mosul
The US-backed Iraqi forces are now battling IS militants in the more densely-populated western half of Mosul. The fight to push ISIS out of the city, the second-largest in Iraq, has been raging since mid-October 2016.

April 15, 2017
Vincent Kompany targets Champions League qualification and FA Cup final place
We have a slightly superior goal-difference than both, and there's no guarantees they'll pick up consecutive wins, of course. I don't know if the way we played was lovely but the most important thing is to win games.

April 15, 2017
White House decides against releasing visitor records
On Friday, Dubke defended the White House's decision by citing other areas he said was demonstrating new levels of transparency. White House officials argued that the new policy is needed to help the president meet freely with outside advisers.

April 15, 2017
Will he or won't he? Nurkic's return still uncertain
The Golden State Warriors are averaging 115.9 points on 49.5 percent shooting and allowing 104.3 points on 43.5 percent shooting. Portland went 0-4 against the Warriors this season, although the last game in January was just a two-point Golden State win.

April 14, 2017
Fugitive manifesto said 'We need to spill … blood'
They say they have not gotten any information to confirm whether Jakubowski is still in the area, or if he's left town. Police have said they want to find Jakubowski over fears he may be planning an attack of some kind.

April 14, 2017
Troubled Toshiba reports unaudited results after 2 delays
Four nuclear reactors Westinghouse is helping to build in SC and Georgia are behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. But in an unprecedented move for a major Japanese company, Toshiba filed the report without the approval of its auditors.

April 12, 2017
Canucks fire Desjardins after finishing last
"We made a very hard decision to relieve Willie Desjardins of his duties as head coach today", said Canucks GM Jim Benning . The plan didn't come close to providing the desired results, and Desjardins was eventually the one to pay the price.

April 11, 2017
Mousasi stops Weidman by TKO in confusing end at UFC 210
I would demoralise him". "Of course I'd fight Jon Jones, but Jimi Manuwa said he wants a title fight". “He wears sweat suits. I don't feel that I should let this young man have so much control over me and my legacy. "Dude's done ...

April 11, 2017
Paulo Dybala says he's not the new Lionel Messi
We must take advantage of this, taking a high line, starting from midfield. For at least one player, Tuesday night's game should be very special.