Thunder/Rockets Game Four Live Blog
Update: As of 1 pm Central Steven Adams was not listed on the Thunder's injury report.
Billy Donovan would not give an update on Steven during this afternoon's media availability. Donovan would only say, "I think all those guys are doing fine."
"We'll certainly have more of an update tomorrow."..."I think letting those guys get through a day of rest, recovery, and some treatment, we'll have a much much better pulse on where everybody's at physically tomorrow."
Adams suffered a knee contusion late in the fourth quarter, and despite being able to return, Dovonovan kept him on the bench. Without Adams for overtime, the Thunder were forced to go small and play Danilo Gallinari at center. During the extra frame, Oklahoma City outscored Houston 15-3.
Does the success of the Thunder's small lineup have Donavon rethinking how he might approach game four?
"That group played pretty well, in the five minutes I think Houston scored three points."..."Obviously, when you take a guy like James [Harden] off the floor, that's going really really impact any team."
"So, it's really hard to say."..."Chris [Paul] made two tough threes; I don't know if that had anything to do with the lineup."
"The game at the end Harden was off the floor for them Steven [Adams] was off the floor for us, so it's really hard to say in the five minutes what to like or not, it was just going well for that group out there at that point in time."
That's Donvan's polite way of saying probably not. With Harden fouling out less than a minute into overtime, things opened up for the Thunder. Already down Russell Westbrook, the Rockets had to rely on their role players to seal the win.
That task proved to be too daunting as Houston went 1 of 9 from the floor. Don't expect Donavon to veer from what he did in game three. If Adams is healthy, he'll be on the floor.
The Thunder are conceding style of play to Houston, which is fine as long as they continue to play without hesitation. Thunder have to take advantage of any fastbreak opportunities, get back on defense, and go into the paint on the rare occasion the Rockets defense leaves the lane open.
For one game, Oklahoma City proved they can play with Houston. Now it's time to see if it was a fluke or are the Thunder truly back.
No changes to the Thunder starting lineup. Also, Thunder is going with the association uniforms today. Right away, the Thunder goes to Gallinari for the slam! House, taking an elbow to the face, he earned that foul!
Gallinari 5 Rockets 3.
Thunder comes out hot and aggressive on defense! Dort, Gallinari, and SGA all hit from behind the arc. Oklahoma City starts the game on an 11-3 run.
Getting hit by SGA's elbow didn't affect House on that corner three.
In case you're not keeping track, that's two threes for Lu Dort.
Taylor Rooks is reporting that Russ is going back and forth with thunder players during the timeout. Man, I would love to have that in the Peake right now.
Fun first quarter Thunder trails 37-35. Both teams are shooting at a high clip, both benches are scoring, and both are killing it from three.
Today is the fastest we've seen the Thunder play all series long. Which is the only way you're going to beat the Rockets. You'd love to play your game, but you can't, not for 48 minutes. It will come in spurts, like the pass to Gallinari, to start the game, but you have to keep up with them, or as we've seen you're toast.
Third foul on Dort, that's going to be significant with just a little less than half the quarter to go. Donovan is content to keep him on the floor, and the main reason is you don't have anybody on the bench that can keep up with Harden.
The depth we thought Oklahoma City had, has evaporated in the postseason. Freeze this moment in time and remember where you were when NBA officials called a walk on James Harden.
The Thunder bench, which has been outworked in this series, is outscoring Houston's reserves 21-9.
60-60 at the half.
Both teams are shooting over 47 percent from the floor, and OKC is 7/19 from beyond the arc. Thunder 9/11 from the charity stripe.
The critical thing to watch is the three fouls on Dort.
A couple of things, Gilgeous-Alexander should have taken that corner three vs. drive the baseline on that pass from Drot. Also, while there is no "home court advantage" in the bubble having your in house announcer, your music, and most of the trappings of a game in the Peake has to give the Thunder a psychological lift.
Houston is 8/8 from three this quarter; they are outscoring Oklahoma City 28-15. Dort just picked up his fourth foul.
Bazley pulls the Thunder to within 10, but the Thunder can't get back on defense quick enough to keep the Rockets from scoring. The Thunder are getting up the floor on offense, and the Rockets are COLD. It's a four-point game 93-89, with less than a minute left.
Schroder nails a three at the end of the quarter to bring the score within one! 93-92 going into t the fourth.
We'll have post-game coverage coming up on Inside the Thunder.
Dort has five fouls with 10 minutes left to go.