The Houston Rockets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night in Game 5 by a score of 105-99. Russell Westbrook scored 47 points and added 11 rebounds and nine assists, but his teammates failed to contribute as the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs in a 4-1 series loss.

Rockets' guard James Harden had 34 points in the win despite shooting just 32% from the field. Patrick Beverley provided additional support through 15 points in 26 minutes. Lou Williams had a stellar performance from the bench, recording 22 points in 33 impressive minutes.

Reliance on Westbrook

A critical issue for the Oklahoma City Thunder all season has been the supporting cast for Russell Westbrook.

Not only does Westbrook take a ridiculous number of shots, but he also creates a lot of open shots for his teammates. Unfortunately, the supporting cast for Westbrook features only average players, such as Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, and Victor Oladipo, and these players have often missed their open looks in crucial times.

It goes without saying that Westbrook has been a one-man team for the Thunder this season. He is a very talented, athletic guard who is now in the race for MVP, averaging a triple-double in the regular season. After the departure of superstar Kevin Durant last summer, the team turned to Westbrook to carry them into the playoffs. To get this far was impressive enough after losing such a vital player in Durant.

Harden's free-throw shooting

Another important headline to take away from this game is the ability of James Harden to get to the free throw line. Despite shooting just 8-25 (32.0%) from the field Tuesday night, Harden took 17 free throw shots, knocking down 16 of them. Harden has taken advantage of opposing defenders, not just this season, but throughout his whole career, to get to the line.

Drawing fouls is one of Harden's greatest strengths, but if The Rockets are to compete for a championship, they will need Harden to carry the team from the line and the field. 32% is too low for an MVP candidate in the playoffs. With the possibility of a Western Conference Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors looming, Harden will need to be on his A-game to give his team a legitimate shot.

What's next for Houston?

The Rockets now await the winner of the series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs won Game 5 Tuesday night 116-103 to take a 3-2 lead in the Best-of-7 series. Game 6 will be held Thursday in Memphis as the Grizzlies look to avoid elimination.

The Rockets played the Spurs and the Grizzlies four times each during the regular season. They split the regular season series against both teams 2-2.

Houston will certainly hope that Memphis can win the series against San Antonio, as this would give the Rockets home court advantage in their next series. But regardless of the result, the Rockets will be ready to battle for a spot in the conference finals.

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