“When it gets jammed up for us offensively,” Rocket coach Kevin McHale said, “we struggle.”
That wasn't a problem Wednesday. The Rockets got to the basket time and again.
Houston's points-in-the-paint advantage: 50 to 30.
And while the small-ball lineup helped the Rockets get to the basket, it didn't hurt them on the glass. Houston out-rebounded Oklahoma City 57-40, including grabbing 21 offensive rebounds that led to 27 second-chance points.
How is that rebounding disparity possible?
Houston's smaller guys got in there and mixed it up. Harden grabbed 11 rebounds while Beverley snagged 12.
The dude is only 6-foot-1, 185 pounds.
But clearly, he isn't afraid. Then again, he's been through some tough experiences. He spent the last couple years playing overseas and was actually playing in St. Petersburg, Russia, in December when the Rockets called on him.
Going toe-to-toe against Westbrook doesn't seem so difficult for a guy who's been down a tough road like that.
Spurred by Beverley, the Rockets showed a tenacity in Game 2 that was totally absent from Game 1. It didn't earn them a coveted playoff win on the road — the Thunder got clutch plays from a bunch of different guys — but the completion of this series has changed.
“It should be a fun Game 3,” Durant said.
History says the Thunder will win in the end, but what happens between now and then should be nothing but interesting.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.