In dire need for a win to stop the Thunder’s momentum, the Rockets will ride a masterful showing from superstar James Harden to hack out a pivotal Game 5 victory.
Photo from Getty Images
Date: August 26, 2020
Time: 6:30 PM ET
Location: The Field House, Orlando, FL
Key Performers in Game 4
(4) Rockets – James Harden (32 points, 8 rebounds, 15 assists, 4 steals)
(5) Thunder – Chris Paul (26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals)
Harden comes through with a stellar scoring display
Harden may have put up a game-high 32 markers, but he had to work for every ounce of it. Oklahoma City Thunder’s defensive ace Luguentz Dort locked down Harden in Game 4, and this play perfectly sums it up.
Luguentz Dort put the clamps on Harden
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 23, 2020
It would then be pointed out that Harden shot a lowly 14% clip when it was Dort who is defending him. Clearly, Dort has done a tremendous job containing the former MVP, but the Rockets superstar will not back down. Look for Harden to turn it up a notch in Game 5 and be more creative in getting to his hot spots.
He is already doing a nice work dishing out the rock with his 15 assists, but expect The Beard to put more pressure on OKC’s defense by getting more trips to the free throw line. Harden only had five free throws in Game 4, an unusual business day for the All-Star guard.
Prediction: Rockets start the game strong and ride Harden’s brilliance towards a Game 5 victory
Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images
Chris Paul and the Thunder have been spectacular in close games this season, something that the Rockets should clearly avoid moving forward. In Game 5, Houston will be able to start the game strong and put most of their energy in draining the Thunder in the first half.
The Rockets supporting cast have been solid in this series, but they have to clamp down and put up more fight on the defensive end. If Houston can do a better job holding down the fort in the paint and limit the Thunder’s inside shots, they will certainly go up 3-2 in this tightly-contested series.