Dennis Schroder scored a career playoff-high 30 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from 15 points down in the third quarter to beat the Houston Rockets 117-114 on Monday to even the first-round Western Conference playoff series at two wins apiece.
Houston has leaned heavily on a small lineup since the trade deadline, making up for what it lost in rim protection by switching relentlessly and wearing opponents down on the perimeter.
Asked about Westbrook prior to Game 1 against the Thunder at Walt Disney World Resort, Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said: "Can't rule anything out, but don't rule anything in". Houston could really use Westbrook's services now that this series has tightened up.
A blockbuster acquisition from the Thunder, Westbrook has been averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game.
Doncic finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists but had a rough night, shooting just 4 for 14 from the field and 4 for 10 from the foul line. "He's a good player".
The Rockets looked to have made the decisive move of the game over the first half of the third quarter when they made those eight straight 3-pointers to streak out to a 15-point lead (86-71). "Sports, it's cool, it's good and well, it's how we take care of our families, but those are the real issues that we gotta start addressing". We weren't getting our shots offensively, and defensively, we weren't sticking to our principles. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander adds with 20.3 ppg and 7.3 rebounds per game.
A big part of that has been the defense of Oklahoma City rookie Luguentz Dort. With a frustrating fourth quarter defeat on Monday, I'm sure Harden will bring his A-game against Oklahoma City from the opening tip.
Westbrook (strained quadriceps) was upgraded to questionable Wednesday afternoon after a positive workout in the morning. When his injury was first announced late last week, it was believed that he would have to miss more than just one game, which is a reality that is still on the table.