The Houston Rockets won big over the Oklahoma City Thunder behind James Harden's great offensive performance. The Rockets took the first game of the series with a 118-87 victory. James Harden finished the game with 37 points, seven rebounds, and 9 assists, while adding three steals to his stat sheet. "The Beard" had some trouble shooting from the outside at the beginning, but once he started to go to the rim and play "one on one" basketball, he was unstoppable. Harden scored 16 consecutive points with layups.

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Boards and points in the paint

The Oklahoma City Thunder looked pretty good in the first quarter as they led 29-27. Their perimeter defense was effective and the Rockets couldn't find their shot from outside. But Houston players turned to a "Plan B" and started to score in the paint, especially James Harden. He was doing a great job of attacking the rim and finding his teammates, mostly Nene and Clint Capela. The Rockets outscored the Thunder 59-33 in the second half, which resulted in a blowout victory for the home team.

Thunder journal: Andre Roberson shows skill on both ends in Game 1 ... - newsok.com
Thunder journal: Andre Roberson shows skill on both ends in Game 1 ... - newsok.com

Patrick Beverley had the best playoff game of his career with 21 points, ten rebounds, and three assists, while shooting 8 of 13 from the field and 4 of 6 from downtown. Harden shot just 3 of 11 from the three point line, but his overall shooting performance was decent as he finished the game shooting 13 of 28. Clint Capela had 14 points and seven rebounds, while shooting 7 of 9 from the field, and Nene added 15 points off the bench.

Russell Westbrook's inefficiency

So, where did Russell Westbrook disappear to in game one?

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He was far away from his MVP level, as he finished the game with just 22 points, while shooting a miserable 6 of 23 from the field and 3 of 11 from downtown. He did have 11 rebounds and seven assists, but he also had nine turnovers. The Rockets did a great job of keeping Westbrook out of the paint, forcing him to shoot the ball, and his teammates weren't helping him at all.

Victor Oladipo had just six points, shooting 1 of 12 from the field, while the big men Enes Kanter, Steven Adams and Taj Gibson didn't have much space, as they took only 17 shots combined.

Andre Roberson was the only bright spot for the Thunder, as he scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while shooting 4 of 6 from the three point line. The Rockets were leaving Roberson wide open on a few ocassions, but that didn't hurt them much. Doug McDermott and Norris Cole need to get some big minutes in the second game in order to improve the Thunder's outside shooting percentage.

The next game is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:00 pm.

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