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Twenty-two turnovers hurts Rockets in 104-100 loss to OKC in Game 6
Updated: September 1, 2020 -- 9:35 p.m. CT
Posted: September 1, 2020 -- 12:39 a.m. CT
ORLANDO, FL (ESPN Disney World of Sports Complex) -- The Houston Rockets turned over the ball 22 times Monday night in a 104-100 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of their first round playoff match-up. The series is tied 3-3. Game 7 is Wednesday night.
"We shot ourselves in the foot turning the ball over," James Harden said after the game. Harden had 5 of the 22 turnovers.
"Last game, I had zero. Tonight, I had 7. Simple as that," Russell Westbrook acknowledged of his 7 turnovers Monday night.
Westbrook, Harden, and Eric Gordon (4) combined for 16 of the team's 22 turnovers. OKC scored 22 points off the Rockets' 22 turnovers.
The 22 turnovers negated Harden's 32 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Also, Robert Covington filled the stat sheet with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 blocked shots. Covington finished the game with just 1 turnover.
OKC wasn't stellar with the ball Monday night either. OKC committed 19 turnovers for 21 Rockets' points.
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Houston led 25-24 at the end of the first quarter. Each team had 5 turnovers in the opening quarter.
Eric Gordon swished a three-pointer to the beat the halftime buzzer to give the Rockets a 51-48 halftime lead. Houston had 3 turnovers in the second quarter.
The first half was close. OKC had the largest lead of the first with a 6 point advantage. Houston led by as much as 5 in the opening half.
The Rockets led by as much as nine points in the third quarter; however, the Rockets went scoreless the final 3:34 in the quarter. And, OKC took advantage with 8 consecutive points from an unlikely source: defensive specialist, Luguentz Dort. Dort scored a 7-foot bank shot and made two (yes, two) 3-point shots to give OKC a 77-75 lead after 3 quarters.
Houston committed 10 turnovers in the third quarter and made just 9 baskets.
OKC outscored Houston 11-5 to lead 88-80 with 9:33 on the game clock. OKC guard Chris Paul began to percolate with 4 points on back-to-back jumpers during the burst.
Covington scored 7 points during a 14-3 Rockets' run for a 94-91 Houston lead with 5:34 remaining in the game. Harden knocked down a three-pointer before sinking a technical foul shot (tech on Chris Paul for punching the air). Houston led 98-92 with 4:19 left in the contest.
Then, Chris Paul went to work. CP swished back-to-back three-point shots to tie the game at 98 with 2:57 on the clock. Westbrook scored a driving layup for 100-98 Houston lead. Dennis Schröder scored a driving layup to tie the game at 100 with 1 minute remaining.
On Houston's next possession, Westbrook airballed a jumper and Harden missed a long three-point shot attempt. Chris Paul attacked the basket and was fouled by Covington. CP sank both free throws for a 102-100 OKC lead with 13.1 seconds remaining.
Westbrook raced up the court; but, he threw a bad pass that went out of bounds with 7.6 seconds left in the game. Houston was forced to foul and fouled OKC forward Danilo Gallinari Gallinari made both foul shots. Gallinari snapped out of his shooting slump with 25 points on 9 for 17 field goal shooting including 4 for 9 from long range.
Harden scored a game-high 32 points. Chris Paul scored 28 to lead OKC. Gallinari scored 25.
The Rockets finished the game with 4 missed shots and 3 turnovers in the final 2:33 of the game.
"Twenty-two turnovers. We're trying to get less than 10," Mike D'Antoni lamented after the game. "Twenty-two sealed our fate."
Game 7 will be Wednesday, September 2. Tip is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN.
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