NBA Analysis: Rockets Soar, Take Down Thunder

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Rockets 99, Thunder 98

As Gene Peterson would say…how sweet it is.

Even the best teams in the league get lucky bounces on occasion, but the Rockets haven’t received any of these in the winding minutes so far this season (aside from @Indiana).

The Rockets have been blowing fourth quarter leads this season while the Thunder have been pulling out games in the closing minutes.  Before the loss, Oklahoma City had been 8-0 in games decided by seven or fewer points and 3-0 in games decided by one point.  Who better, aside from Kobe Bryant, to take a shot in the final seconds of the game than Kevin Durant?  In the Thunder’s last game against Indiana, Durant came up huge hitting a jumper while getting fouled to send it into overtime…and then hitting two consecutive jumpers in OT to seal the game. Oklahoma City trailed the Pacers by as many as 14 points in the third quarter on Friday night.  Durant scored 11 of his 25 points in the final two minutes and overtime to pull out the victory.

Shane Battier gets the game ball.  He scored a season high 18 points, going 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line.  He also played great defense against Durant, forcing him to shoot 7-18 from the field.  Durant had a streak of 10 games with at least 20 points, which was broken Sunday night against the Rockets (he finished with 18).

Brad Miller and Jordan Hill came up big off the bench for Houston, each scoring double figures.  The Center by Committee position in Houston has been working out okay since Yao went down against the Wizards.  Hill has been especially impressive putting together a nice string of games, now if he can only continue to carry over his improvement the rest of the way.  With good news that Yao could come back as soon as Friday, the Rockets have a tough test tonight against division rival Dallas.