National Basketball Association play-offs first round: Westbrook can't stop Rockets

National Basketball Association play-offs first round: Westbrook can't stop Rockets

During the Game 2 loss at Houston, Russell Westbrook scored 51 points - the highest scoring total ever in a playoff triple-double. And it summed up why Oklahoma City is outclassed in this series by Houston - Russell Westbrook had the first 50-point triple-double in playoff history. Their bench averaged 39 points per game in the regular season, fifth in the National Basketball Association and tops among playoff teams, though their reserves play an average of just 17.3 minutes to rank 26th in the league. Kanter did not play much this game but he only had 4 points and 1 rebound. Actually, what he said was: "I don't give a f-- about my line". The NBA has fined the veteran point guard $15,000 for using inappropriate language during his postgame press conference following Game 2 against the Houston Rockets. His final stat line was 51 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. They called timeout, and what happened after helped them comeback to win the game 115-111 to take a 2-0 series lead. His step back jumper with 8.9 seconds remaining gave Toronto a 104-100 lead (see full recap). Westbrook had four straight points to start a 7-1 run, but the Thunder wouldn't get any closer. Then again, he took 43 shots and hit just 2-of-11 3-pointers (18.2%), numbers that are way off from his regular season averages.

42 triple doubles, 82 games, one player: Russell Westbrook. With Westbrook playing the role of closer throughout the entire season, it wasn't surprising to see him shoot a high volume of shots, but he seemed pretty exhausted down the final stretch of the game but continued to call his own number regardless.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports	 Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports  Jeffrey Swinger
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports Jeffrey Swinger

Both will have to knock down shots when they count the most to get back in the series, especially Oladipo. Oklahoma City went more than three minutes without any offense to permit Houston to gain the lead.

In Game 1, James Harden scored 37 points on 28 shots, dished out nine assists and hauled in seven rebounds all while committing just two turnovers.

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Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Spicer, who is an avid Patriots fan, took the interruption in stride by saying, "I think I got this, but thank you".

"We looked like we needed some energy, looked like we needed a spark and I think in the first and second half [the second unit] was able to do it", Williams said. Westbrook, who often encountered tight defense from Houston forward Trevor Ariza, was 4 of 18 in the fourth and still scored 15 of Oklahoma City's 22 points. They are relentless and deep, and despite going only 10-33 from three in game one, they won't stop coming.

Harden paced the Rockets with 35 points and eight assists, and did so by making just seven of 17 shots.

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But even if Fizdale's comments don't change the officiating, at least he won't have to pay for the entire fine himself. A furious Fizdale complained that the officiating crew had unfairly skewed the free-throw count against his players.

Wall and Beal scored 20 of Washington's final 21 points in the foul-plagued game after the Wizards trailed 89-88 with 6:03 remaining. He looked like he was on track to turn in one of his best performances of 2016-17 - the type of game he surely would have reserved for the regular season if he was anxious about votes. Oklahoma City has not won at Houston this year in three tries. But the similarities in how Westbrook played in those two games - indiscriminately chucking jumpers down the stretch, many from mid-range - deserves to be noted considering the Suns game was the one Donovan consistently reached back to as unsustainable. "We have to come out and match their effort".

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Congresswoman Stefanik recently reintroduced her legislation, the Support Our Military Caregivers Act, to reform the U.S. Under the bill, the VA will be allowed to operate its Choice program until the funding runs out.

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