HOU 119 @ MIN 100
Game 4 was a tale of two halves for James Harden & the Rockets.
The first 24 minutes insinuated a hard fought, pivotal 4th game: one in which the Rox would need to persevere through another difficult shooting performance & pull off the victory.
The Wolves attacked well, got to the rim & almost matched them shot for shot. When Derrick Rose was inserted, the pace quickened, allowing Minny to get a few easier buckets and take advantage of mismatches.
50-49 Rockets at halftime. Not too bad, right?
36! pts (22! in 3Q), 4 boards, 4 steals & 3 dimes
Well about that...Houston came out firing in the third, going on a 25!-4 run to blow the game wide open.
J. Harden scored a franchise playoff record 22! pts in the period - Houston outscored MIN 50!-20.
Yes, 50 pts in a quarter...in a playoff game.
Minnesota's one-on-one heavy offense struggled to keep up w/ Houston's long-range attack + they had no clue how to limit Harden & Chris Paul's (26!, 6 boards, 6 dimes & 5! steals) effectiveness attacking downhill.
Did the Rox simply "flip the switch?" as J. Harden stated postgame? It's hard to argue against that logic. Not many teams heat up quicker than Houston - when they're able to turn consecutive stops into points, a blowout usually follows.
HOU now leads 3-1, the Wolves look to extend the series on Wednesday.