After being up 2-0 in their first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets find themselves headed into a game seven. The Thunder were able to force a game seven after a 104-100 victory on Monday Night. Chris Paul led the OKC with 28 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
“This is who we are,” Paul told the TNT broadcast afterwards. “We’re built for stuff like this. A lot of guys on our team have been pushed out, traded or whatnot, but we just stick together and we keep fighting.”
As for the Rockets, James Harden was the high man with 32 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, but it wasn’t enough. The Rockets dealt with a lot of turnovers throughout the game, and after the game, Russell Westbrook took the blame for it.
That’s my fault, honestly. That’s easy. Last game I had zero and tonight I had seven. Simple as that.”
Before game five, former NBA veteran Brendan Haywood stated that it was a must-win game for his career, not just the series.
“Tomorrow I don’t know what the games are going to look like, but one game that I will be looking at is OKC versus Houston. This is a must win game for James Harden’s career… Career! They [Houston Rockets] can’t lose this series, if they go down three-two OKC will find a way to win one of those games,” said Haywood. “Down the stretch if they go down 3-2. James Harden and them boys got to get this game they were just up 2-0. There is no home court advantage. This is one of the most important game in James Harden’s career.”
Haywood was done, “If James Harden doesn’t make it out of first-round against OKC, every time he goes into the playoffs and doesn’t do well. It just makes people discount even more what he does in the regular season. James Harden at 6:30 pm Eastern time, he better bring it all, and not leave nothing on the floor. The lefty jumper better be floating because man if they don’t win this game, James Harden’s career people are not going to take it, I mean he is still great, but are going to say he scores when doesn’t matter.”
Earlier this month, I stated that I think the Rockets wouldn’t make it out the first-round on The NR Hour podcast with Nithin Ramachandra.
“I don’t the Rockets are going to make it out of the first-round. I think the Thunder is the top seed, but I don’t the Rockets will make it out the first-round.”
The Rockets and Thunder play game seven on Wednesday at 9 pm EST on ESPN.