Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

D'Antoni looking for 1st title in his 1st year with Rockets


But it ended up leaving gaping holes in the middle of the paint as bigs like Adams, Enes Kanter and Taj Gibson found themselves switching out onto guards on the perimeter and unable to recover in time to either contest the shot or be in good rebounding position. Beverley might have been better off running head-first into the Great Wall of China than abruptly being introduced to Adams' shoulder, which is something that usually causes casualties.

Beverley finished with a playoff career-high 21 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Nene notched 15 points off the bench with little resistance at the rim due to OKC's suspect defensive game plan.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden, right, passes against Sacramento Kings guard Ty Lawson during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The two leading candidates for MVP were on the court, but from that point on, Patrick Beverley was the star.

If Houston continues to hold its own on the glass despite three-guard lineups featuring some combination of James Harden, Patrick Beverley, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams, the Thunder won't last long this postseason. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. I say that as a virtual matter of fact, if we are to believe the voting numbers gathered by the Rocket blog The Dream Shake, in which they've compiled all of the votes that have been made public by selecting media members. "I'm sure they'll bounce back, and we've got to be ready to go".

"I thought you guys competed well".

Beverley hardly did it alone, of course. After all, he earnestly invited me to chapel during that same trip.

"The turning point was not an exact moment, but offensive rebounds and second-chance points was what really killed us", Thunder center Steven Adams said. He stopped doing that after being slammed by the pick, but his defense didn't let up. Beverley finished with similar counting stats-21 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals-but shot a tidy 8-of-13 from the floor and only turned the ball over twice. Houston coasted to victory despite missing 23 of 33 3-point attempts. But on the other end, Beverley leads the charge. Westbrook has to do most of the work for OKC, which he has proven he can do, but sometimes he is forced to press and that leads to road struggles. He only returned stateside four years later on a minimum contract.

It's not clear if the Blazers could have centre Jusuf Nurkic back by then from a broken leg that saw him miss the last seven games of the regular season as well as Sunday's game. I am going to go with Houston at home tonight, as the Rockets should be able to set an offensive pace that the Thunder won't match. Two minutes later, he hit a 3-pointer from the right corner. Beverley's feistiness on the ball is a constant, too. It's going to take a team effort to level the series in Game 2 but I'm looking specifically at Victor Oladipo to make an impact after he finished with just six points on one of 12 shooting in Game 1. Don't worry - they're both up for it.

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