Westbrook clinches triple-double in first half vs. Rockets

Westbrook clinches triple-double in first half vs. Rockets

Nene Hilario paced the Rockets with 28 points on the day. Regardless if I go to the bench, or Steven's on the floor, or if I'm off the floor, we in this together. I don't want to hear that. "We're in this together", he said. "We will continue to trust in each other and our abilities to stay a team and stay as one". Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni opted to go with Hack-a-Roberson up three with just over four minutes to play, and the strategy worked as he went 2-of-8 from the charity stripe.

It's actually quite remarkable that Houston is taking a 3-1 lead back to the Toyota Center, considering there's not a single one of the first four games that one could look at and say, "That's Rockets' basketball".

Scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Houston, Game 5 is televised both on Fox Sports Oklahoma (1027) and TNT (1029).

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook achieved a triple-double in the first half of Sunday's playoff game against the Houston Rockets. If Westbrook weren't around, Adams would have likely given a canned answer about how the whole team needs to step up or something like that. Gibson replaced Sabonis for the first time March 9 against San Antonio, and the Thunder went 11-5 with him in the starting lineup.

Westbrook's second missed free throw in the waning seconds had kept the door open for Rockets, who had tied it at 111-111 with 52 seconds to play on a Harden three-pointer.

Westbrook played 39 minutes in the loss and recorded another triple-double, but when he was off the floor, the Thunder struggled. Five Rockets players reached double figures in scoring.

When the Oklahoma City season ends, Andre Roberson becomes restricted free agent. In the eight he didn't play, the Thunder was a minus-18 and got run off the court. And this was displayed no better than how the Rockets' bench has demolished not only OKC's bench, but completely altered the Thunder's ability to give Westbrook and Adams adequate rest.

The narrative of "help" around Westbrook has been that he doesn't have enough, and while the Thunder are clearly less potent without Durant, Westbrook's influence on the game is so extreme that he nearly singularly determines how much help he gets.

It was a timely offensive outburst from the 2.13m Kiwi who has been criticised for his lack of production through the first three games of this series. In fact, at times in the first half, the Rockets appeared like they didn't even want to be there.

Westbrook hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter but missed three in the final 35 seconds, twice appearing to lean into defenders to try to draw the foul.

In other news, Rockets guard Patrick Beverley was fined $25,000 by the league for confronting a fan after Game 3.



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