NBA

Houston Rockets put on clinic against Oklahoma City Thunder to match longest win streak in NBA this season

Jay Asser 11:57 07/03/2018
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Chris Paul dropped 25 points on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

When the Houston Rockets are clicking like this, it’s hard to imagine anyone slowing them down.

Houston kept their sizzling run going by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-112 on Tuesday for their 16th straight victory, matching Boston for the longest win streak in the league this season.

Despite their underwhelming record and standing in the West, Oklahoma City had fared well against some of the top teams by claiming wins over Golden State, Toronto and Cleveland.

The Rockets, however, made light work of the Thunder with an offensive clinic that saw James Harden and Chris Paul combine for 48 points on 15-of-27 shooting, while the team as a whole hit 17-of-33 3-pointers (51.5 per cent).

“We’re so good offensively that every single night teams are going to throw different coverages at us,” Harden said. “We’ve just got to find different ways to attack them. Once we find something we can go to, we use it. Guys got open shots, and we just ride that wave.”

Houston don’t even rank near the top of the league in 3-point percentage – sitting 10th at 36.7 per cent – but the win over Oklahoma City marked the 26th time this season they’ve hit at least 17 triples.

Their 15.6 3-pont makes per game are far and away the most in the league, with Brooklyn’s 12.2 the next closest.

That type of firepower is a major reason why, with each passing win, they’re closing the gap with the prohibitive favourite Warriors.

But there’s also a sense that if the Rockets – who’ve failed to advanced past the second round of the playoffs the past two years – look too far ahead and concern themselves with the bigger picture too soon, things might unravel a bit.

“We just try to stay in the moment,” Paul told ESPN about the win streak. “Stay in the moment, not try to think about all that stuff. Just keep hooping and leave all that other stuff for everybody else to talk about.”

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