Houston we have a problem. The San Antonio Spurs may be missing. The second seed in the Western Conference saw a 30-point deficit by halftime. It was a complete onslaught by the Rockets as they entered the third quarter hitting on 12-of-30 three-point shots. The Spurs struggled coming out the gates after halftime not scoring a single point until just over eight minutes in the third quarter.
The Spurs never had an answer on the defensive end as the Rockets hit on 22-of-50 three-point attempts. Overall the Rockets shot 46-percent from the field (44-percent from three) as the largest lead was 39 points. San Antonio would not lead the entire game.
Offensively, the Spurs struggled as well shooting 37-percent from the field (31-percent from three) with only three players scoring in double digits. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 21 points on 5-of-14 shooting alongside 11 rebounds and six assists. LaMarcus Alridge was a non-factor as he scored only four points on 2-of-7 shooting with just six rebounds.
Frustration rung out from San Antonio as Dewayne Dedmon and Nene seemed to exchange words at the end of the third quarter near the Rockets bench. Nene appeared to grab Dedmon by the neck area and pushed him back. The officiating crew handed out a double-technical but also ejected Nene who was already placed back on the bench at the start of the fourth quarter.
Six Rockets players would finish in double figures as it wasn’t even a night where James Harden led his team in scoring. Trevor Ariza lead all Rockets with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Ariza would hit a game high five three-point baskets in the game. Harden finished with 20 points and 14 assists.
The concern for San Antonio is defending the three-point basket and avoiding another scoring outburst. At times when a bad shot was taken on the Spurs end it translated to a fast break basket on the offensive end for the Rockets. Teams are 13-1 when hitting on 19 or more three-point baskets in the playoffs.
Baseline Times Staff Writer