Notes for Game 7 of Rockets vs OKC Thunder First Round Playoff Series
Posted: September 2, 2020 -- 9:00 a.m. CT
Do or die. Win or go home. Sports fans know what those two sentences refer to: Game 7.
Game 7 of the Houston Rockets - Oklahoma City Thunder series is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2. Tip-off will be a few minutes after 8 p.m. Central Time on AT&T SportsNet SW, Fox Sports Oklahoma, and ESPN.
The winner of tonight's Game 7 advances to the Second Round to face the LA Lakers. The loser goes fishin'.
If you ever wondered where the radio / tv personalities get some of the statistical minutiae heard during broadcasts, here's a look behind the curtain (sort of) at a few of the notes, stats, tidbits compiled by the Houston Rockets Media Communications Department for game 7:
Playoff Series Notes
- Tonight marks the 12th Game 7 in Rockets playoff franchise history (6-5 mark)… Houston has only played one Game 7 under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017), which was a loss to Golden State in the 2018 Western Conference Finals… this is the third time the Rockets have went to a Game 7 in the First Round (Lost to Utah in 2007 and lost to Dallas in 2005).
- Tonight is Houston's second chance to eliminate Oklahoma City… the Rockets are 4-4 when having the chance to eliminate an opponent under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017), including 3-2 in the First Round.
- The Rockets lost in overtime in Game 3 and were outscored 15-3 in the extras session (largest overtime point differential in NBA history)… Houston is 7-11 all-time in its overtime playoff history… Game 3 marked just the third overtime playoff game for the Rockets going back to 2015 (all coming under head coach Mike D'Antoni; 2-1 mark back to 2017).
- The series is tied 3-3 despite Houston outscoring Oklahoma City by an average of 7.2 ppg… each of the Rockets three wins this series have been by double-digits, including by 34 points in Game 5… that marked the largest margin of victory in Rockets playoff history and the fifth by 30+ points (third under head coach Mike D'Antoni going back to 2017)… 17 of Houston's 26 playoff wins under D'Antoni have been by double-digits.
- Houston lost Game 6 by 4 points and Game 4 by 3 points… the Rockets were 8-7 in games decided by five or fewer points during the regular season, including 4-5 by 3 or fewer… Houston is 8-7 in games decided by five or fewer points in the playoffs under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017), including 3-3 by 3 or fewer.
- Game 6 marked the first time Houston didn't hold a double-digit lead this series and the first time the Rockets trailed at the start of the fourth quarter… the Rockets are 18-4 when tied or leading after three quarters of play in the playoffs under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017) and 8-15 when trailing.
- Houston is 3-1 when scoring 110+ points this series and 0-2 when failing to do so… the Rockets were 41-13 when scoring 110+ points during the regular season (4-15 below) and 4-15 when scoring below… Houston is 18-3 when scoring 110+ points in the playoffs under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017) and 8-16 when failing to do so.
- The Rockets lost Game 6 despite holding Oklahoma City to 104 points… Houston was 21-3 when holding the opposition below 110 points during the regular season (3-1 this series) and is 24-6 when doing so in the playoffs under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017) and 2-13 when failing to do so… the Rockets held OKC to 80 points in Game 5, tying for the 10th-fewest allowed in playoff franchise history.
- Houston lost Game 6 despite shooting 45.2% from the floor… the Rockets are 1-2 when shooting 45.0% or better this series after going 29-7 when doing so during the regular season (15-21 below)… Houston is 14-7 when shooting 45.0% in the playoffs under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017) and 12-12 when failing to do so.
- The Rocket have held OKC below 45.0% shooting in five of the six games this series (3-2 mark), including a playoff franchise opponent-low 31.5% in Game 5… Houston was 20-5 when holding the opposition below 45.0% shooting during the regular season and is 18-4 when doing so in the playoffs under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017) and 8-15 when failing to do so, including 10-0 below 40.0%.
- Houston lost Game 6 despite outshooting OKC and is 2-1 when doing so overall this series… the Rockets were 25-3 when outshooting the opposition this season and 19-25 when failing to do so… Houston is 17-3 when outshooting its opponent in the playoffs under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017) and 9-16 when failing to do so.
- The Rockets have hit 15+ 3-pointers in each of the six games this series, including 18+ four times… Houston was 30-13 when having 15+ threes made per game during the regular season, including 19-2 when having 18+… regular season and playoffs combined, the Rockets are 47-5 when having 20+ threes made per game under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2016-17)… Houston has hit 20+ threes made per game twice this series and three times in playoff franchise history.
- Houston has hit 111 3-pointers in the six games this series… that is the highest total through the first six games of a postseason in NBA playoff history… entering this postseason, no team had more than 97 threes made per game through the first six games of a postseason.
- The Rockets are “only” averaging 46.0 3-point attempts over the past two games after having 50+ in each of the first four games, including an NBA playoff record 58 in Game 4…. the Rockets have attempted 50+ three-point field goal attempts 7 times in playoff history… the rest of the NBA has recorded two games with 50+ three-point field goal attempts… Houston has taken 56.3% of its shots from downtown this postseason (54.3% over final 27 games in regular season and 50.1% overall).
- The Rockets are averaging 7.2 more threes made per game than OKC this series… Houston has averaged 4.3 more threes made per game (195 total) than its opponent in 45 playoff games under head coach Mike D'Antoni (going back to 2017)… the Rockets averaged 4.7 more threes made per game than the opposition over the final 27 games of 2019-20, up from a +2.7 differential over the first 45 games (+3.4 per overall; first in NBA).
- Over the past three games, Houston is shooting 38.0% from 3-point range after shooting 32.1% the two games prior (36.0% overall this series)… Houston has shot 37.0% or better three times this series (2-1 mark)… the Rockets were 24-1 when shooting 37.0% or better from behind-the-arc during the regular season, with the only loss coming without James Harden and Russell Westbrook against New Orleans on 12/29.
- Houston is averaging 16.0 free throw attempts this series, including 12.0 over the past three games… the Rockets ranked second in the NBA with 26.1 free throw attempts per game during the regular season… OKC has MADE 18 more free throws than Houston has ATTEMPTED this series and is averaging 8.5 more free throw attempts per game… the Rockets ranked sixth in free throw attempts differential (+2.3 per) in 2019-20.
- The Rockets have only made 9 free throws in each of the past three games and have recorded 14 or fewer free throw attempts in each of those three games… both of those streaks (9 or fewer FT and 14 or fewer free throw attempts) are tied for the longest in NBA playoff history.
- Since shooting 89.2% from the foul line in the first two games of the series, the Rockets have shot 72.0% over the past four games (79.2% overall)… Houston shot 82.1% from the line during the eight seeding games and finished 2019-20 shooting 79.1%.
- Houston has been outrebounded in all six games this series, including by 10+ twice and by 7.3 rpg overall… the Rockets were outrebounded by an average of 10.7 rpg over their final 27 regular season games and by 3.6 rpg overall in 2019-20… Houston was outrebounded by 20+ boards 20 times this season (10-10 mark).
- The Rockets have recorded more assists than OKC in five of the six games this series (3-2 mark)… Houston had 19 assists in Game 6 after averaging 26.5 apg the two games prior… the Rockets are 0-2 when having fewer than 20 assists this series after going 12-10 during the season.
- Houston had 19 assists with 22 turnovers in Game 6 after not having more than 16 turnovers prior this series… the Rockets had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.05 through the first five games of this series (1.47 during the regular season) and only averaged 11.0 tpg.
- The Rockets are averaging 13.00 steals over the past two games after averaging 7.00 spg the first four games of this series… Houston ranked third in the NBA with 8.71 spg during the regular season and were 20-8 when having 10+… the Rockets are forcing 16.2 tpg this series… opponents had 15+ turnovers in 27 of the final 31 games this season and Houston ranked tied for third in turnovers forced overall (16.2 per).
- Houston has outscored OKC by a total of 31 points in the paint this series… the Rockets outscored the opposition in PIP 23 times during the regular season but just four time post All-Star break through the end of the seeding schedule… the Rockets are allowing 37.0 PIP this series, down from 51.5 per game during the regular season (26th in NBA).
- Houston's bench has been outscored by a total of 49 points over the past three games after outscoring the Thunder's bench by 18 points over the first three games of the series… Houston's reserves outscored the opponents bench in 14 of the final 33 games this season after doing so three times over the first 39 games… the Rockets bench was outscored by an average of 10.4 ppg by opponents reserves during the regular season.
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Player Playoff Notes
- James Harden is averaging 31.8 ppg, 7.8 apg and 6.8 rpg this series… since joining Houston in 2012-13, he is averaging 28.5 ppg, 7.1 apg and 5.8 rpg… Harden and Russell Westbrook are two of seven players in NBA playoff history with 100+ playoff games to have averaged at least 23.0 ppg, 5.0 apg and 5.0 rpg.
- James Harden has scored 30+ points in five of the six games this series… dating back to the 2017 playoffs (Mike D’Antoni’s first season with Houston), Harden has the second-most 30-point playoff games (26; LeBron James first w/29)… Harden has scored 20+ points in 66 of his 79 playoff games as a Rocket (30+ 38 times), including each of the past 19 games (longest active streak).
- James Harden has scored 30+ points while shooting 50.0% or better in three of the six games this series, including each of the past two games… he recorded a total of three games with 30+ points while shooting 50.0% or better over the past two postseason… the Rockets were 21-5 when Harden shot 50.0% or better in 2019-20 … he is shooting 48.8% this series… Harden shot 41.2% from the floor in his first seven postseason as a Rocket.
- James Harden is averaging 6.3 free throw attempts over the past three games after averaging 10.7 the first three games of the series… he averaged a career-high 11.8 free throw attempts in 2019-20… he has taken 53.1% of the Rockets free throw attempts this series.
- James Harden has recorded 14 turnovers over the past three games after having just 4 the first three games of this series… he still has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.61 this postseason, up from 1.66 during the regular season and 1.43 in the 2019 playoffs.
- Russell Westbrook is averaging 12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 5.0 apg in 25.4 mpg over the past two games after missing the first four games of the series with a right quad strain… including the playoffs, Houston is 10-9 in games he has missed this season… Westbrook joins LeBron James as the only players in NBA playoff history with more than 25 games played to have averaged at least 25.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 7.0 apg.
- Russell Westbrook is shooting 1-of-4 from the foul line this series… he averaged 6.7 free throw attempts during the regular season and shot 76.3% after shooting 70.1% the two seasons prior… Westbrook shot 82.3% from the line over his first nine seasons.
- Eric Gordon had a series-low 9 points in Game 6 but is still averaging 17.7 ppg this series after averaging 7.5 ppg in two regular season games vs. OKC… he averaged 16.6 ppg in the 21 wins he appeared in this season compared to 11.5 ppg in the 15 losses he played in… Gordon averaged 17.8 ppg in the 2019 playoffs… he is shooting 18.6% from 3-point range this series… Gordon shot 40.0% from behind-the-arc in the 2019 playoffs.
- Eric Gordon has scored 18+ points in four of the six games this series, including 20+ three times... after scoring a career-high 50 points at Utah on January 27, he did not have more than 17 points the rest of the regular season (11.6 ppg in 17 games played over that span).
- P.J. Tucker has scored in double-figures in three of the six games this series and in 17 of his 34 playoff games as a Rocket compared to doing so in 58 of his 236 regular season games with Houston… he is shooting 41.7% from 3-point range this series and 45.2% in three playoffs with the Rockets.
- P.J. Tucker is averaging 9.0 rebounds over the past four games after having a total of 9 boards over the first two games of this series… he has grabbed 10+ boards twice this series and 12 times in his playoff career… Tucker averaged a career-high 6.6 rpg in 2019-20.
- Robert Covington is averaging 18.0 points over the past three games after scoring a total of 18 points over the first three games of the series… he is averaging 2.33 steals and 1.33 blocks this series… Covington was one of three players this season who averaged at least 1.50 spg and 1.00 spg and ranked 10th in the NBA with 1.64 spg… he is shooting 51.0% this series (48.6% 3FGs) after shooting 33.3% (23.2% 3FGs) in the seeding games.
- Danuel House Jr. is averaging 13.8 ppg (46.2% FGs, 37.5% 3FGs), 6.0 rpg and 2.0 apg in 34.3 mpg this series after averaging 4.9 ppg (29.7% FGs, 25.8% 3FGs), 3.1 rpg and 0.1 apg in 20.1 mpg in seven games played for the Rockets in the 2019 playoffs, which marked his playoff debut… he missed the final four games of last postseason due to injury… House averaged 30.4 mpg this season, up from 25.1 mpg in 2018-19.
- Jeff Green is averaging 7.3 ppg on 30.8% shooting over the past three games after averaging 19.7 ppg on 61.1% shooting the first three games of this series… including the regular season, he has scored in double-figures in 17 of his 24 games as a Rocket, including 10 of the past 12… Green shot 56.4% from the floor in 2019-20 after signing with Houston on 2/18… he is averaging 2.8 threes made per game on 43.6% shooting this series.
- Austin Rivers had 11 points while shooting 3-of-6 from 3-point range in Game 2 but has scored a total of 13 points while shooting 1-of-11 from behind-the-arc in the other five games… the Rockets were 18-8 when he scored 10+ points this season… Rivers averaged 1.8 threes made per game on 41.4% shooting over the final 30 games after averaging 1.1 on 30.3% shooting over his first 38 games played.
- Ben McLemore had 14 points while shooting 4-of-7 from 3-point range in his playoff debut in Game 1 but had scored a total of 12 points while shooting 4-of-12 from behind-the-arc over the past five games… he had the he had the third-most career games played (439) of any active player in 2019-20 who had yet to appear in the playoffs… McLemore averaged 2.5 threes made per game on 40.0% shooting during the regular season.
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