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Rapid Reaction: Houston Rockets 95, OKC Thunder 98

Our grades from tonight.

Oklahoma City Thunder 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Houston Rockets
Luis Scola, PF 37 MIN | 12-28 FG | 4-5 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 28 PTS | +5Scola did his best to put the team on his back offensively, finishing with 28 points, but his deficiencies on defense and on the glass in particular are still very apparent. At the half, he had hadn’t corralled a single rebound, and four of the seven he finished with were off his own misses.
Chandler Parsons, F 30 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | +14Parson’s scoring stats don’t look that impressive, but his affect on the game was immense. From guarding Durant, to leading the team in rebounds and steals, it’s easy to see why McHale is starting the young Florida alum.
Kevin Martin, SG 36 MIN | 4-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | 0At times Martin looked very aggressive, but at others he seemed to disappear completely. As an absolute liability on defense, the Rockets need Kevin Martin to produce early and often on the offensive end.
Goran Dragic, PG 38 MIN | 7-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 20 PTS | -1Outside of the turnover on the errant pass to end the game, Dragic played fantastically well in Kyle Lowry’s absence. Pushing the ball, finding the open man, shooting lights out, Goran did it all tonight. Hopefully, when Lowry returns, he can continue the something close to the kind of stellar effort he’s produced these last two games.
Patrick Patterson, PF 22 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -8Patterson turned in another solid, under the radar performance tonight. At this point, he just needs to get better, not because he’s played poorly, but because the Rockets need all the help they can get in the front court.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Thunder tried to give this game to the Rockets, shooting miserably and finding themselves down 12 with four minutes left 3rd quarter. Unfortunately, Houston’s rag-tag collection is just too kind to accept charity, finishing the quarter tied at 72 and losing the game in the final minute by three.
  2. Houston interior D is still suspect, allowing Nazr Muhammud to score 11 by the middle of the second quarter and getting outrebounded handily 19 – 6 in the first quarter. Luckily for the Rockets the Thunder don’t have a dominant big to take advantage of its biggest weakness.
  3. Is Kyle Lowry actually injured? Though he’s listed as having an ankle injury, the timing of his absence seems conspicuous considering the announcement of his legal troubles this week.
  4. Johnny Flynn still looks like an 8-year-old lost in an airport out there. Does he know that we have a playbook? If Lowry continues to miss games, do the Rockets need to pick up another back up point guard?
  5. Genuinely sad to see Eric Maynor carried off the court in the 4th with an apparent knee injury. No matter how much you dislike a player or a team (which I don’t either in this case), it’s never easy or fun to see someone get hurt. Get better soon, Eric.

 

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