In a game in which six Rockets players appeared in their first playoff contest, Beverley stood out by performing with extreme confidence and tremendous toughness that belied his modest status.
Beverley is a 2009 second-round pick who entered this series with a 41 career games on his resume. After bouncing around throughout Europe, from Ukraine to Greece to Russia, Beverley latched on with the Rockets in early January when he signed for the league minimum.
His big break came when the Rockets pulled the trigger on the six-player deadline-day deal with Sacramento that sent backup point guard Toney Douglas to the Kings.
“Patrick's been a really pleasant surprise,” said Houston coach Kevin McHale. “What you saw out of Patrick is kind of how he plays.”
Beverley's hustle and hard work led to that bandage above his left eye.
While playing similar suffocating defense on Phoenix guard Goran Dragic recently, the 24-year-old Beverley sustained a cut courtesy of a Dragic elbow. The gash required five stitches.
Beverley hasn't let it bother him.
“Patrick is a guy that's going to come out and play hard,” said Rockets forward Greg Smith. “He's an energy guy that's going to come out and give you everything he has. That's one thing that our team really loves about him. You know that he's going to fight for you.”