James Harden reveals ‘game-changer’ for Houston in Game 2 win over Thunder
The Houston Rockets jumped off to a 2-0 lead on their first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden, who shined in Game 1 with 37 points, struggled shooting the ball in Game 2, but it didn’t stop his team from beating the Thunder by double digits and finding a “game-changer” to turn the tide.
The Rockets went off on a 17-0 run with Harden on the bench, forcing eight staright misses and a turnover. The Thunder turned the ball over 14 times to the Rockets’ seven, as Houston turned defense into offense in a way that make head coach Mike D’Antoni proud:
“A combination of good defense and good offense got us a little separation,” said D’Antoni, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.”
“Unbelievable, man,” Rockets guard James Harden added. “That was the game right there. The guys just took it upon themselves to guard. We felt a sense that Oklahoma City was getting tired, and we just kept pressing the gas on them. That was a game-changer right there for us.”
The Rockets didn’t shoot it well by any means, but they shot it a lot — and that counts.
Houston made 19 of its 56 attempts from deep. According to StatMuse, the Rockets are a perfect 5-0 in the playoffs when they attempt 50 or more threes.
The Rockets are 5-0 in the playoffs when they take 50+ threes.
Math wins. pic.twitter.com/mfIbmPeFZC
— StatMuse (@statmuse) August 20, 2020
“You have to win games playing badly,” D’Antoni said.
To compound this, the Rockets are also the only team in NBA history to have attempted 50 or more threes in a playoff game. Couple that with some sturdy defense and it’s only a matter of time before the shots start to drop.