Rockets Obliterate The Spurs In Game 4, Series Tied 2-2


The Rockets’ offense was just too much for the Spurs to handle in Game 4. It was already a must-win game for Houston; but just about an hour before tip-off, it was reported that Patrick Beverley, the defensive-minded, energetic, emotional leader of the Rockets, would be playing Game 4 with a heavy heart following the death of his grandfather. 

That heavy heart was on display when Beverley nailed a three early in the first quarter for the first bucket of the game, eyes filled with tears. Luckily for Beverley, his teammates had his back and were not going to let him down.

From that first three pointer by Beverley, the Rockets had the lead and never let it go – never trailing for even a second. Beverley finished this very difficult game with 10 points, six assists, four rebounds and a steal.

James Harden came out ready to play Sunday night and had a lot of success against the Spurs for the second straight game in a row. He scored 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting (4-11 from downtown) to go with 12 assists, five rebounds, and two steals. The Rockets are 2-0 in this series when Harden goes for 20+ and 10+ assists.

The Spurs’ defense really just did not have an answer for the Rockets on Sunday. The Rockets shot 52.6 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from deep, making 19 threes on the night – and eight in just the third quarter alone, where the Rockets kept their foot on the gas and ran away with the game.

Gregg Popovich, in his postgame interview was blunt, “If you would’ve seen the clips of our transition D, you would’ve traded all the players and fired me by the end of the game.” He went on to say of the Rockets, “They were that intense, and they were that focused, and they were that professional, and we were not.”

Pop is clearly frustrated after this one. His Spurs had 14 turnovers, shot 50 percent from the free throw line, and shot just 30 percent on threes. The Rockets played like a well-oiled machine – their passing was crisp, leading to 28 assists and just nine turnovers.

Even though the Rockets came up big in this game, they did lose Nene after just two minutes to a groin injury that resulted in him being taken to the hospital. There are no further details regarding Nene’s injury yet.

Along with Harden’s huge game, and Beverley stepping up, Trevor Ariza continued to excel in this series. Ariza went 7-of-9 (2-of-3 on threes) for 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. The Rockets got a lot of help off the bench, 22 points from Eric Gordon (on 6-of-9 on threes) and 50 total from other key reserves.

Kawhi Leonard had 14 first half points, but then only scored two the rest of the game. He still shot 50 percent from the field and chipped in six rebounds and four assists, in just 30 minutes. Jonathon Simmons had a big game for the Spurs, scoring 17 points and coming up with two steals.

Simmons and Patty Mills – who had 10 points and five assists off the bench – were the only Spurs to make two three pointers, both going 2-5 from beyond the arc. Eric Gordon has six made threes by himself!

The Rockets made the game look easy Sunday night, but it was anything but that for Patrick Beverley. In his postgame remarks, Beverley talked about his grandfather, calling him a “man of the family” after reflecting on how difficult it was to hear “that the person that raised you and nine other cousins or siblings” had passed. He summed the night up as “tough.”

Tough, though, is an understatement.

The Spurs will look for their defensive rhythm to bounce back in Game 5, and Houston will spend their off time being there for their teammate and trying to keep everybody locked in for Tuesday’s game.

About Brandon Wentz

Mayor of the borough of Mt. Carbon, Pennsylvania. Disappointed fan of the Phoenix Suns. Humble narcissist. Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/thebighonch

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