The Rockets to that point had averaged 1.16 points per possession but were struggling in the fourth quarter — until the Hack-a-Turk, Houston had six points in 13 possessions.
And that was a series-long trend. In the last five minutes of the previous three games combined, Houston had scored 28 points in 28 possessions.
HARDEN GETS HOT
James Harden had been shooting miserably in the series — 4-of-25 on 3-pointers, through four games. But Harden made his first seven 3-point attempts in Game 5.
He finished 7-of-9, with 31 points. The Rockets as a team were 14-of-35.
“We were due for a couple 40 percent shooting nights from the 3-point line,” McHale said. “We've had them on and off all year. I give my guys a lot of freedom to shoot them.”
*Kevin McHale on what OKC misses most with Westbrook out: “They'll miss him everywhere, how could they not? He's one of the top players in the league. They probably miss him in the locker room, miss him in shootaround, miss him on the bus, miss him on the plane, miss him on offense, miss him on defense … did I miss anything? I'm sure they miss him. I'm really sorry and honestly, I say, ‘Sorry Westbrook.' I'm really sorry that he got hurt. I really am. I hate to see that happen to anybody.”