Chris Paul wakes up on time and the Thunder even the series

The Rockets went up 15 points midway through the third quarter. The former Houston team was decisive in the comeback thanks to a superb second half with 22 points.


Scarcely 4 days ago, the Rockets sealed the tie 2-0 and presaged that the favoritism of D'Antoni would also be fulfilled on the track. Far from fulfilling the forecasts and after 2 very irregular first games, the Thunder managed to rebuild in the third and gain time and increase their hopes of overcoming the crossing. With this victory in the third game for Donovan's men, the fourth stake was presented as practically decisive. A Rockets win would have put Houston within a semi-final win in the West, which they could have achieved in the next three games.

The vital significance of the match for both teams was noted in the first 12 minutes. Defensive intensity, exchange of blows and wide sets for both teams marked the start of the duel. The Thunder caught the pulse of the game from the start and started with an 11-3 start in the first 2 minutes.

However, House, Gordon and Harden emerged as the scoring authors to equalize the set at 14 3 minutes later. As a result, the sets were short for both teams and neither team managed to leave on the scoreboard. Despite this, Harden's 15 points weighed heavily for the Rockets to go 2 up at the end of the first.

Equality was once again the sign that reigned during the second 12 minutes. Both teams managed to manage good scoring percentages but the level of accuracy in the first quarter was impossible to maintain, the Rockets went from 54.5% to 47.7%, while the Thunder lowered their level of accuracy by 13%. In the Rockets, Harden lowered his level extremely, he only scored 4 points in the second quarter, and found in Eric Gordon his great offensive asset. In those of Oklahoma Paul still did not appear, he went to the locker room with 4 points, and Denis Schroder was uncovered facing the rim with 15 points.

The third quarter was the one that marked the future of the game. The Rockets' first 7 minutes were superb from the perimeter. 8 of 8 in just over half a quarter put those of D'Antoni with 15 points of income on the scoreboard. The Thunder seemed to have fallen in defense, their zone defense was no longer the same, and in attack, in which only Chris Paul appeared scoring 9 of the 13 points converted.

As if it were a science fiction movie, the Thunder rose from their ashes and changed the sign of the game in the final 5 minutes, to the point of ending the quarter within one point of the Rockets. The success and direction of Paul or the fleeting appearances of Gilgeous-Alexander and a less protagonist Schroder presented an unpredictable last quarter. With a depleted Steven Adams, the Thunder paid the Rockets in their own coin. A team of players not especially tall but with great skill in penetration and with a good exterior level.

Despite the fact that the Rockets dominated the scoreboard at the start of the quarter, the Thunder found in the pair Schroder and Paul, the perfect duo to dominate the times in the decisive moments and end up taking a victory that came to seem impossible. The first finished with 30 points and the second, in addition to scoring 22 points in the second half and signing 26, was key in the last 2 minutes of the game with 8 points. The fifth round awaits at dawn from Wednesday to Thursday (00:30) in a game in which the Rockets must find the outside level of the third quarter to continue dreaming of their chances of going to the West semifinals without Westbrook.

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