Odds favor the Thunder, but Houston has other ideas

The odds are great that the Thunder wins this series. But on a night that the boys in blue took that significant statistical edge with a 105-102 victory, this series got interesting.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 24, 2013

This series is over.

So says history.

The Thunder took a 2-0 lead on the Rockets on Wednesday night in this best-of-7 playoff series.

In NBA history, only one out of every 16 teams that has found itself in such a hole has managed to come back and win the series.

The odds are great that the Thunder wins this series.

But on a night that the boys in blue took that significant statistical edge with a 105-102 victory, this series got interesting.

Only a couple days ago, it looked like this series was going to be a dud. The Thunder won easily in the opener and left the Rockets looking completely outmatched. How were they going to slow down Russell Westbrook? Or Kevin Durant? Or Serge Ibaka? How were they going to score on those guys?

And winning a game in the series?

That seemed laughable.

Not so much now.

“We definitely have some confidence going back home,” Rocket star James Harden said.

As well they should as this series shifts to Houston on Saturday night. The Rockets didn't lay down after that Game 1 debacle. Far from it. They came out and attacked.

Three of their first five baskets came on drives to the hoop. Chandler Parsons. Jeremy Lin. Parsons again.

The crazy thing is, the Thunder wasn't just leaving clear paths to the basket during that early onslaught. Ibaka stuffed Parsons, then altered a Harden shot. Kendrick Perkins blocked Parsons.

Despite those rejections, the Rockets just kept coming.

They pestered the Thunder, most notably Patrick Beverley who looks like he's on a mission to make Westbrook's life as miserable as possible. They crashed the boards. They seemed to grab every 50-50 ball.

“We knew they were going to come in and play much better,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “That was their major adjustment — they played much better.”

That wasn't the Rockets' only adjustment, though.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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