OKC Thunder: Five takeaways from Game 4 win against Rockets

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Aug 24, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel (top left) and guard Dennis Schroder talks as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) huddles with teammates during the second half in game four of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder evened the series 2-2 with a 117-114 win against the Rockets in Game 4.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

Schroder’s spark

After tying his playoff career high with 29 points in Game 3, Schroder responded with 30 points in Game 4.

He converted a tough layup that put OKC ahead by three points with 36 seconds left, and then made two clutch free throws when Houston was forced to foul.

Closing small

The Thunder closed in the final four minutes with Danilo Gallinari at center and Luguentz Dort at power forward.

It’s the same small-ball group Billy Donovan went with in overtime of Game 3.

Paul withstands Houston charge

Chris Paul scored 14 points in the third quarter to withstand Houston’s 8-of-8 start from 3-point range in the quarter.

The Thunder fell behind by 15 points, but Paul reeled the Rockets in.

Paul found Schroder for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the quarter on a 21-7 run. OKC trailed by one point heading to the fourth.

Harden’s two halves

James Harden was spectacular in the first half. He shot 6-of-11 for 19 points.

Harden was limited to 5-of-14 shooting in the second half. He finished with 32 points and 15 assists.

Dort dealt with foul trouble all game. Schroder took on the Harden assignment for stretches in the second half.

Tight first half

The Rockets shot 48.8% and the Thunder shot 48.7% in the first half. The teams went to the halftime locker room tied 60-60.

Houston shot 10-of-24 from 3-point range in the first half, but OKC kept pace with 15 points off the bench from Schroder and 14 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

source oklahoman

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