NBA Playoffs 2020: Houston Rockets victorious against OKC Thunder in Game 7 to advance to Western Conference semis

Took them long enough but the Houston Rockets are on to the second round. They managed to clinch their spot in the final seconds of the game and escaped with a 104-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 7 of their first-round series on Wednesday night.

James Harden had a rough night on the offensive end, finishing with 17 points on 4-of-15 from the field, but made up for it defensively. With just seconds to play, he blocked Lu Dort’s potential game-winning 3-pointer, which ended up saving the day for the Rockets.

Russell Westbrook bounced back from his disastrous outing in Game 6 to score 20 points, while Robert Covington stepped up and added 22.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eO-QbbLFqo

Dort headlined for the Thunder, turning in a career-high 30 points while playing strong defense on Harden.

Chris Paul, meanwhile, finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists to become the oldest player in NBA history to have a triple-double in a Game 7.

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The highlight of the game, however, tilted towards the final few minutes as Chris Paul hit two free throws to tie the game at 96-96 with seven minutes and 11 seconds to play.

From then on, both teams played something that only resembled basketball. The Rockets outscored the Thunder 8-6 down the stretch, as they shot a combined 5-of-26 from the field. There were both more fouls (6) and more turnovers (6) than made shots in that stretch.

The last few minutes, in particular, was electrifying.

There was one sequence where Dennis Schroder missed a jumper but Eric Gordon came away with the loose ball despite multiple players hit the deck for the rebound. Chris Paul then flopped to draw a charge as Gordon crossed midcourt, and though he didn’t get the call, Chris was able to stop his momentum, and the Rockets guard ended up turning it over.

Paul then picked up the ball and barreled into Harden, who flopped and failed at drawing a charge of his own, before Paul missed what would have been a go-ahead jumper.

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