Rockets stun San Antonio; Cavaliers trounce Raptors
16:35, May 4, 2017
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"Last series (against Oklahoma City) was a more grind-it-out. We had to figure a way to get paint points and in this series so far they gave opportunities to shoot 3s". The Spurs 69-39 half-time deficit was their worst in playoff history. For starters, James Harden went just 10-of-34 from long range, a rate just slightly higher than the team's 29.2 percent. However, any time a team makes 22 three-pointers in a game, they are likely to win and win big. The scene has been set as both conferences have worked their way into the semifinal round of this year's playoffs.
Houston opened the second quarter in a 15-2 run in the first 3 1/2 minutes that stunned San Antonio and buried the Spurs in a 49-25 hole.
Though D'Antoni is in Houston and sans mustache now, and though the time-proof Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are the only recognizable players from the famed Suns-Spurs playoff matchup that took place exactly a decade ago, the philosophical friction between these two coaches remains. LaMarcus Aldridge will need to be more aggressive, as he tries to return to the star form he boasted in Portland.
Nene grabbed Dedmon in the neck area in an attempt to push the Spurs center away from Rockets teammate James Harden after those two had gone face to face and exchanged words. Toronto was blown out for the fifth straight time in Cleveland in the playoffs, losing each by an average of 24.2 points.
The Rockets came out of the gate full of energy and hit six of their first eight shots and five of their first 11 from beyond the arc to assume a 28-13 lead with 3:05 to play in the first quarter.
If the Spurs are going to win Game 2 and even the series at 1-1, the key is going to be controlling the pace.
Most stay with Green unless they absolutely have to help, though, since he's typically too unsafe to abandon.
This Rockets' offense is built to take advantage of nearly any defense in the National Basketball Association, and the San Antonio Spurs defense is no exception.
The Rockets are not known for playing great defense, but they do have a much younger and more athletic team than San Antonio, which was one of their big advantages heading into the series. Those two teams played each other extremely close during the regular season as well, (3 of the 4 games decided by 3 points or less, with the Rockets winning 3 of the 4) and once that final buzzer had sounded in Toyota center on April 16th, and the Rockets took a 1-0 series lead, many were ready to proclaim the series over. "But we have to find a way to not let them get going".
Game one of the second round was one of the best games in years for the Houston Rockets.
"I don't think we executed in a very wise manner", Popovich said. I mean. wow. Finding winners and losers that aren't completely obvious in a game like Monday's is tricky, but we will do our best.
James Harden was outstanding on the night - bisecting San Antonio's vaunted defence of the pick and roll creating mismatches at will. Yes, the game was all but over, but the Spurs still had their regulars on the floor, as did the Rockets.
"Just talking greasy, talking insane", Harden said of his run-in with Dedmon.