Great hoops action will be coming your way tonight as the NBA has served up two blockbuster playoff games that will definitely tickle your basketball fancy. Opening festivities tonight is the Game 2 showdown between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.
Following shortly thereafter is the much-anticipated Game 2 clash between the top-seeded Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers. Read on below for a quick breakdown of these two pivotal games and while you’re at it, you can check out our Game 3 preview of Cleveland vs. Indiana.
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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets (8:00 PM ET)
The Houston Rockets drew first blood in their much-anticipated best-of-seven series with the Oklahoma City Thunder, posting an emphatic 118-87 victory Sunday night. Five players scored in double-figures for the Rockets who improved to 31-11 at home this season. James Harden was superb once again for Houston, recording 37 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
With the Game 1 defeat, the Thunder have now lost each of their last seven games against the Rockets at Toyota Center. For the Thunder to reverse that trend and grab the all-important equalizer in Game 2, they will need Russell Westbrook to step up his play tonight. Westbrook struggled mightily in Game 1, scoring just 22 points on 6-of-23 shooting from the field. That’s a far cry from his 31.6 PPG scoring average this season. Westbrook had a tough time escaping the clutches of Patrick Beverley who dished out a 21-point, 10-rebound performance in Game 1. Westbrook committed nine turnovers in the series opener.
The Rockets are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games against the Thunder.
Houston wins Game 2 but Oklahoma City (+7.5) covers.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors (10:30 PM ET)
The Golden State Warriors opened their run towards a third NBA title in dramatic fashion, beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 121-109, in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round showdown on Sunday. Kevin Durant scored 32 points in his playoff debut for the Warriors who outscored the Blazers, 33-21, in the final quarter.
Game 2 is set later tonight with Portland looking to knot the series up at one apiece. For the Blazers to accomplish that feat, they will need C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard to continue their strong play. McCollum and Lillard combined for 75 points in that Game 1 loss. They are the first Blazers teammates to score 34 or more points in a playoff game since Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler on May 19, 1992. They will look to wreak havoc against a Warriors side that might be missing Durant in Game 2. KD strained his left calf in the series opener and is questionable for Wednesday’s clash.
The Warriors are 7-0 in their last seven meetings with the Blazers.
Golden State (-12) wins and covers.
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