The Oklahoma City Thunder were blown out in Game 1 in their Western Conference first round series with the Houston Rockets 118-87 on Sunday night.
Houston takes a 1-0 series lead as Game 2 is on Wednesday night in Houston.
The team who wins Game 1 wins Game 2 56.2 percent of the time.
“I’ve been here before,” Westbrook said. “It’s only 1-0. We have to come back and get ready for the next one.”
Houston found their stroke in the second half but it was really the things Oklahoma City normally does well, Houston took it right to the Thunder. They outscored the Thunder on the paint, dominated rebounds and outscored the Thunder on second chance scoring.
Patrick Beverley, Oklahoma City’s arch nemesis found himself having a whale of a game, finishing with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep.
“He made some shots,” Russell Westbrook said.” He made some shots. We’re OK with that. He made some shots. You live with it.”
Oklahoma City led 29-24 after the first quarter but questionable lineup choices by Donovan led to some inconsistencies in the offense. Houston did a good job of forcing Oklahoma City to switch over and the Thunder ended up with Steven Adams and Enes Kanter on James Harden quite a few times. Harden made them pay almost every time.
Andre Roberson did everything he could. He scored a playoff career high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He nailed down a playoff career high four threes and grabbed seven rebounds.
“Andre did a great job tonight,” Donovan said. “I thought Andre battled him [harden] as well as he could.”
Despite Oklahoma City trailing 59-54 at halftime, they fought back to start the third quarter, pulled with 64-62 with 8:31 left in the third. Harden was fouled on a three and Beverley hit back-to-back threes, putting the Rockets up 73-62 with 6:09 in the quarter.
“We got bogged down,” Donovan said. “We have to make shots but we were unable to do that a high enough level.”
Houston continued to heat up, outscoring the Thunder by 16 in the fourth quarter as it appeared Oklahoma City had just checked out in the fourth and were getting ready for Game 2.
“With the leadership Russell and Nick Colison, those guys have been through a lot of playoff series,” Donovan said. “This is just one game, a disappointing game. We’ll have to play a lot better. I’m sure they’re happy about getting another chance to come back on Wednesday.”
Westbrook finished with 23 points on 6-of-23 shooting. He had 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists. He also turned it over nine times.
The Thunder will take on the Rockets in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday night in Houston. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on TNT once again. Oklahoma City has lost four straight games to the Rockets this season.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Slow down the Rockets: D
Houston basically did whatever they want, whenver they wanted, andhow ever the wanted. Oklahoma City has to do better in limiting what Houston can do. Sure, Houston only had six fast break points, but their ability to keep the game at the speed they wanted was crucial. They took 91 shots. NINETY-ONE. That’s just way too many.
Thunder Money ball: F
Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo were a combined 3-of-17 from deep. The rest of the team was 6-of-12. Westbrook seemed at times trying to jack up some tough shots and nothing fell for Oladipo. Then you had Andre Roberson who decided to show up and show out. His playoff career high and four threes were wasted.
Westbrook’s efficiency: D
Westbrook’s nine turnovers and shot selection were questionable at times tonight. Sure, he’s the MVP but he still has to put his team in the best position to win and I felt in the second hald, he didn’t do that. He forced a lot and just tried to do a home run for 5-6 points to even the game up.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!