NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 24th (All times Eastern)
(8) Houston Rockets (0-1) at (1) Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder will try to go up 2-0 in their first-round playoff series with the Houston Rockets Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder destroyed the Rockets, 120-91, in Sunday's Game 1. Both teams were in the top three in scoring in the NBA, but only one team put on an offensive clinic on Sunday.
"I think tonight we did a really good job of moving the ball," Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. "And the ball was going in the rim for us."
Durant led the way for the reigning Western Conference champion Thunder with 24 points. Russell Westbrook was outstanding, as always, with 19 points and 10 assists.
Serge Ibaka (17) and Kevin Martin (16) both scored in double figures.
With a vast amount of playoff experience, the Thunder know that Sunday was just one victory. There will be no complacency from Oklahoma City.
"Every game is different," Durant said after practice on Tuesday. "We know this team is going to come out with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. We have to match it. Our building is going to be rocking. We have to feed off of that as well. We had a great two days of practice. We're focused and we're locked in."
The Rockets are one of the NBA's top fast-breaking teams, but the Thunder outscored Houston in that aspect, 24-20, on Sunday.
"That's going to be a big focus for us, to change ends of the floor, switch from offense to defense quickly and get matched up," said Rockets reserve big man Nick Collison.
The Rockets felt like their mistakes were correctable.
"They took it to us hard that first game -- how much of it was us and how much of it was them? A lot of it I saw while watching film was very correctable," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "We fed them. They're plenty good without us feeding them."
Houston committed 15 turnovers, which the Thunder converted into 21 points. The Rockets shot 36 percent from the field and allowed OKC to shoot 53 percent.
It was a rough night for Houston All-Star James Harden.
After he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award with the Thunder last season, Harden was shipped to Houston right before the start of the campaign and made his first All-Star team.
On Sunday, Harden posted 20 points, but did so on 6-for-19 shooting from the field.
"Sometimes I do a little bit too much and that causes some of my turnovers," admitted Harden, "but I just have to do a better job of not turning the ball over and knowing when to take a good shot and (when to take) a great shot."
Harden wasn't the only Rocket who struggled. The four other starters -- Chandler Parsons, Greg Smith, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin -- combined for 28 points.
Yet, the Rockets remain optimistic, based on what they've seen so far in these playoffs.
"You saw what happened in the Brooklyn-Chicago series," noted Harden. "Brooklyn dominated Game 1, but Chicago came back in Game 2 and got a win so it's just a matter of us fixing things, watching film and going out there and executing."
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday night in Houston.
04/24 10:23:28 ET