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Rockets have found the soft spots in Thunder's defense

On a night when the Thunder struggled mightily on offense, it struggled every bit as much on defense. If the Thunder doesn't do better, it will make history. It will become the first team in NBA history to lose a playoff series that it led 3-0.
by Jenni Carlson Published: May 2, 2013

What it can't stomach is double digits from every single Houston starter like the Rockets had Wednesday night.

“They play four guards on the floor, and they spread you out,” Brooks said. “Defensively, it's always about matching up in transition when you're playing against smaller, quicker teams.”

The Rockets have clearly found the soft spots in the Thunder defense.

“We've gotta move the ball,” Harden said. “That's the only way we can be effective against this team. We have to move the ball, be in attack mode and be ready to shoot for 48 minutes.

“Tonight, we put a 48-minute game together.”

And when the Thunder couldn't cut the Rockets' lead to single digits in the fourth quarter, it started to intentionally foul Asik.

“Scotty went with, what would that be called?” McHale said. “Hack-a-Turk?”

Great line.

And for a bit, it looked like it just might be a great strategy as Asik missed three of his first six free throws after the intentionals started. But in the end, he made 7 of 12 free throws on those six possessions.

Houston still led by nine points.

Seemed that little that Oklahoma City did on the defensive end worked.

“On defense,” Durant said, “we've got to do a better job from top to bottom.”

This is a team that talks about how important defense is to it. Friday night, it needs to play that way.

by Jenni Carlson
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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