Houston skyrocketed and passed over Oklahoma City Thunder as James Harden ignited the early offense and started the shooting party in the rainbow territory for the Houston Rockets as they take game 1 of their first-round playoff series,123-108.
The league's scoring leader did not only lead the Houston Rockets in the point-department but also grabbed 11 boards and sparked the hot shooting night for the Rockets as he opened the scoring for Rockets with a triple.
Despite not having former Thunder main man Russell Westbrook suited for game 1 due to quadriceps injury, the Rockets had a good offensive night as the small ball line up continues to work, ESPN reported.
Four Rockets players also scored double figures as PJ Tucker, Ben McLemore, Eric Gordon, and Jeff Green combined for 12 triples against the Thunder.
Chris Paul's near triple-double performance having 20 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, was not enough as he started the game missing his first five attempts.
Despite coming off from the bench, Jeff Green still managed to tie his season-high 22 points as he finished the game with 8-of-12 shooting performance or 75% Field Goal percentage. Along with this, he had six rebounds and four assists in just 32 minutes of playing time.
Due to the absence of Westbrook, Gordon and McLemore filled the driving lanes and attacked the paint making spaces for other Rockets players who were left open beyond the arc.
Eric Gordon finished the game with 21 points with three rebounds and four assists.
McLemore also added 14 points and 11 for Tucker to give the Rockets a comfortable lead the whole game.
Early in the game, Thunder Big man Steven Adams imposed his presence in the paint bulldozing his way to the basket. But instead of being intimidated, the Rockets' small line up answered it with a long bomb and a good ball movement to get the early rhythm.
After missing his first five attempts, Chis Paul made his presence felt but the former Thunder sixth man, and now Rockets' main man James Harden orchestrated the early offense for his team, dishing and kicking out for his open teammates.
International Thunder players, Dennis Schröder and Danilo Gallinari tried to stay close with the Rockets but their hot shooting continues pushing the lead to 16 points before the end of the first half.
Gallinari dropped 29 points while Adams also dropped a double-double performance with 17 points with a game-high 12 rebounds but it is still not enough to stay even close with the hot shooting Rockets.
The former Rocket Chris Paul made an 8-0 run with 4 minutes remaining in the game but Harden did not let Paul cut the lead as he answered back each blow.
The Rockets limited their turnovers at seven and showed good ball movement which resulted in their total game domination.
According to CBS Sports, despite the height difference, the Rockets were ahead even in the points in the paint, clearly showing that the Rockets were not afraid to attack the basket and do not mind the height disadvantage.