It was a series of ups and downs for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but they managed to pull away and defeat the Houston Rockets to advance in the NBA playoffs by defeating Houston 103-94 in a hard-fought game six in Houston on Friday.
It was not easy, but the final score is all that matters. The Rockets played hard the first three quarters, including a huge start to the third. They took advantage of the Thunder’s weak defense against three pointers and downed them one after another to put them up 68-62 and received a ten-point lead a few minutes later.
Then the Thunder woke up.
With three minutes left in the third Reggie Jackson scored five quick points to make the score 72-67 and the Thunder within five points. They quickly went on a 10-2 streak to end the quarter 78-77.
It was all Thunder in the fourth quarter. They outscored the Rockets 25-17 and started the quarter with a 14-4 run to take a 92-81 lead. The Thunder would win 103-94.
The team lost all-star Russell Westbrook for the playoffs in game two after rookie Patrick Beverley hit his knee. In games three, four, and five it seemed the team was lost without him, and they had to rely solely on Kevin Durant.
Durant finally received more support in game six. After a disastrous game five Kevin Martin stepped up and gave the Thunder 25 points. He kept OKC in the game in the first half in his return to the court where he had previously played before he was traded to OKC in the James Harden deal. Only Durant had more points with 27. Jackson had 17 and Derek Fisher contributed with 11.
“That was one of our best Thunder team wins that we’ve had all season,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “The guys really laid everything on the line, and that’s what playoff basketball is all about. That’s what team basketball is all about, and I liked the guys’ commitment to helping each other out.”
The Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon to start the second round.