Houston Rockets

Rockets Defense Smothers Chris Paul, Thunder in Game 1 Blowout

The Thunder may not sport a truly elite offensive option, but their collective firepower was of concern to Mike D'Antoni and the Rockets entering the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder form one of the most dynamic three-man lineups in the NBA , and forward Danilo Gallinari presents a potential matchup nightmare.

Houston was excellent stopping Oklahoma City at the point of attack, walling off driving lanes and collapsing onto three-point shooters.

Houston frankly shredded the Thunder after a shaky first quarter, and James Harden's supporting cast more than picked up the slack.

Eric Gordon's ankle appeared fully healthy on Tuesday as he tallied 21 points, and he sported a quickness off the bounce unseen for much of his injury-plagued 2019-20 .

Perhaps Billy Donovan will opt to double Harden despite Houston's hot shooting, which could at least stem the tide of steady penetration into the lane.

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