Rockets' 22 3-pointers dismantle Spurs
Photos: Rockets fall to Spurs, 121-96 in Game 2, tie series at 1
Trevor Ariza scored 23 points, James Harden added 20 points and 14 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets stormed past San Antonio 126-99 on Monday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, the Spurs' worst loss in a series opener under Gregg Popovich.
The Rockets were 22 for 50 on 3-pointers, the most 3s attempted and made against the Spurs in their long postseason history.
Houston had six players in double figures, including 20 points and 13 rebounds from Clint Capela.
Game 2 is Wednesday in San Antonio.
Houston led by as many as 39 points, including a 30-point lead in the first half, in the opener of the first series between the rivals since the Rockets' victory in the 1995 Western Conference finals.
No. 3 Houston Rockets vs. No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder
As far as first-round matchups go, it doesn't get much better than this, as James Harden and Russell Westbrook — the NBA's top-two MVP candidates — are set to go toe-to-toe at least four games in a row. What's more, the first three times these teams met in the regular season, the games were decided by a combined seven points.
- Game 1 - at Rockets, Sunday, April 16, Rockets 118, Thunder 87
- Game 2 - at Rockets, Wednesday, April 19, rockets 115, thunder 111
- Game 3 - at Thunder, Friday, April 21, Thunder 115, Rockets 113
- Game 4 - at Thunder, Sunday, April 23, Rockets 113, Thunder 109
- Game 5 - at Rockets, Tuesday, April 25, Rockets 105, 99
Season series - Rockets won 3-1.
- Rockets - Patrick Beverley (9.5 ppg, 4.2 apg, 5.8 rpg), James Harden (29.1 ppg, 11.2 apg, 8.1 rpg), Trevor Ariza (11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.1 apg), Ryan Anderson (13.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.9 apg), Clint Capela (12.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg)
- Thunder - Russell Westbrook (31.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 10.4 apg), Victor Oladipo (16 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.6 apg), Andre Roberson (6.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1 apg), Taj Gibson (8.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.6 apg), Steven Adams (11.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1 bpg)
Rockets win if - They make shots. We hate to say it's that simple, but if any combination of Harden, Anderson, Ariza, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams get hot, the Rockets have the firepower to beat anyone.
Thunder win if - Westbrook gets some help offensively (particularly from shooters), Roberson's defense frustrates Harden (significantly) and the bigs dominate the glass and cash in on second-chance opportunities.
Need to know:
- Rockets - Set the NBA record for single-season three-pointers made.
- Thunder - Are 33-9 when Westbrook records a triple-double.
NBA investigating why Rockets owner Les Alexander spoke with ref
Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander’s short stroll down the Toyota Center sideline on Tuesday night might cost him.
In the final seconds of the first quarter of his team’s Game 5 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Alexander could be seen walking approximately 20 feet to have a word with official Billy Kennedy. After speaking his mind briefly, he can be seen returning to his courtside seat.
When you really want to make your point pic.twitter.com/tISPryd3ZK— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 26, 2017
Not long after the incident, NBA spokesman Mike Bass made it clear that Alexander - who has owned the Rockets since 1993 - got their attention.
“An investigation is underway,” Bass said in a statement.
Alexander declined comment when approached by the Houston Chronicle’s Jenny Dial Creech, saying only that he was “Upset; really upset.” And for once, the Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban wasn’t the Texas-based NBA owner sparking headlines with official-related behavior.
Cuban has been fined several times for incidents with officials, most recently on Jan. 18, 2014 when he was hit with a $100,000 penalty for “confronting refs and using inappropriate language.” He racked up a whopping $450,000 for official-related fines in 2006 alone, with $250,000 relating to “several acts of misconduct” after Game 5 of the NBA Finals and two separate fines of $100,000 apiece (one for going on the court in Game 1 of a second-round series, and the other for critical comments he made on his blog).