On Wednesday night, NBA MVP candidates #Russell Westbrook and James Harden met for the second time in their 2017 NBA Playoffs first round matchup. Once again, Westbrook had a superior stat line with a 51-point performance in a triple-double, but it was Harden and the Houston Rockets defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here's a look at how the Rockets won #Game 2 to go up 2-0 in their best-of-seven series with OKC..
Game 2 recap
For Game 2, Russell Westbrook was able to finish with yet another incredible set of numbers for the box score. Westbrook finished with a Herculean 51 points to go with 13 assists and 10 rebounds. The OKC guard took 43 shots and made 17 of them. He also hit just two of the 11 three-pointers he attempted. Westbrook also added four steals and a block to go with it. Despite those impressive numbers, his team came up short.
With just over three minutes remaining, Westbrook went to the line and knocked down two free throws to even things at 104. However, #James Harden got a foul call in his favor to put his team back up by two. Later, a Patrick Beverly three at the 2:26 mark gave the home team a five-point lead. Eric Gordon went on to hit another three and then followed with a two to put Houston up 10 with over a minute left.
Westbrook would come back to hit a three-pointer to bring his team closer, but then missed one of his two free-throw attempts. The Thunder had several three-point shot attempts with around 30 seconds remaining, but failed to knock them down.
A Houston rebound moments later and ensuing free throws helped them extend their lead to eight and eventually hold off OKC for the win.
When all was said and done, Houston finished with a 115-111 win. James Harden had 35 points on 7-for-17 shooting, including 3-of-7 three-point shots. He also had eight assists and seven turnovers. His teammates Eric Gordon and Lou Williams came off the bench to score a combined 43 points. Each of them hit three shots from long distance in the game, with Gordon scoring five straight points down the stretch to aid in the team's victory.
Coming up next
Now Oklahoma City will return home to host the next two games of this series. The first of the meetings, Game 3, is scheduled to take place on Friday evening with a scheduled time of 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. ESPN will televise the game at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Game 4 will take place Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time with ABC offering the live presentation.