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It’s Game 7 for Thunder-Rockets, Game 2 on tap in Heat-Bucks

It’s Sport 7 for Thunder-Rockets, Sport 2 on faucet in Warmth-Bucks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The final time the Houston Rockets performed a Sport 7, they didn’t have Chris Paul and so they wound up dropping.

Paul desires to see historical past repeat itself.

The previous Houston guard merely has willed fifth-seeded Oklahoma Metropolis right into a deciding sport of its Western Convention first-round sequence towards the fourth-seeded Rockets, with Sport 7 — the final sport of the opening spherical of this postseason — set to be performed Wednesday night time.

“Ain’t nothing prefer it,” Paul stated.

The winner strikes on to Sport 1 of a West semifinal sequence towards the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night time. The loser leaves the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World and goes house, sure to be lamenting an opportunity that obtained away.

Houston may already be coping with some remorse. The Rockets had a six-point lead with the ball with 4:01 left in Sport 6, an ideal likelihood to shut out the sport and the sequence. They obtained outscored 12-2 the remainder of the way in which, lacking six of their final seven pictures and turning the ball over 3 times in that span.

“We performed about as dangerous as we are able to play,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni stated. “And we had been proper there. … We’re going to reply.”

The Rockets’ most up-to-date look in a Sport 7 was the Western Convention finals in 2018, the 12 months they wasted a 3-2 sequence lead towards Golden State — falling after Paul was misplaced for the final two video games of that sequence with a hamstring damage.

Paul was traded by Houston to the Thunder in July 2019 for Westbrook; draft picks had been additionally concerned. It was seen as a rebuilding transfer for Oklahoma Metropolis, however with Paul main the way in which, the Thunder have an opportunity to achieve the second spherical for the primary time since 2016.

“We’re not able to go but,” stated Paul, who will probably be showing in his seventh Sport 7 — he’s 3-3 in his first six such appearances in these video games. “Our staff, now we have had a memorable season, a variety of ups and downs and all that. We’re simply going to proceed to combat. We wouldn’t have it another manner.”

By the point the Rockets and Thunder play Sport 7 of their first-round sequence, there can have been 4 second-round video games performed within the Japanese Convention — together with the primary sport of Wednesday’s doubleheader, the place the fifth-seeded Miami Warmth will look to take a 2-0 sequence lead on the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.

“You have got two actually good groups,” Warmth coach Erik Spoelstra stated. “We received Sport 1. That’s it.”

Jimmy Butler had a playoff career-high 40 factors for the Warmth of their 115-104 win in Sport 1.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP and newly topped Defensive Participant of the Yr, bristled after the sport when requested why he didn’t guard Butler down the stretch. However that was considered one of many points for Antetokounmpo to consider after Sport 1; he was 4 for 12 from the foul line and managed a low-for-him 18 factors in 37 minutes.

It was the second time since March 2 that Antetokounmpo performed greater than half-hour and scored lower than 20 factors. Each had been towards Miami.

“You’ve obtained to know, you’re taking part in basketball,” Antetokounmpo stated. “Issues don’t at all times go your manner.”

A have a look at Wednesday’s video games:

HEAT VS. BUCKS

Miami leads 1-0. Sport 2, 6:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN.

— NEED TO KNOW: The Warmth have received 25 of their final 31 sequence through which they maintain a one-game lead at any level. The Bucks have received two consecutive sequence after dropping Sport 1s, rallying to beat Orlando this season and Boston final season.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: Warmth G Duncan Robinson made just one 3-pointer in Sport 1, and that was of the banked-in selection. Count on Miami to attempt to get him in rhythm early in Sport 2.

— INJURY WATCH: Bucks G Eric Bledsoe (hamstring) missed Sport 1, costing Milwaukee a prime defender.

— PRESSURE IS ON: Antetokounmpo. He’s prone to quickly grow to be a two-time MVP and desires a bounceback night time.

THUNDER VS. ROCKETS

Collection tied 3-3. Sport 7, 9 p.m. EDT, ESPN.

— NEED TO KNOW: Each groups have 47-31 data this season; 44-28 within the common season, 3-3 to this point within the playoffs. The Thunder have received 5 of the 9 head-to-head matchups.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: Houston’s turnovers. When the Rockets have 14 or extra turnovers, they’re 0-3 on this sequence. Once they hold it beneath 14 turnovers, they’re 3-0.

— INJURY WATCH: Rockets G Russell Westbrook shot the ball higher in Sport 6 than he did in Sport 5; he was 8 for 15 from the sector Monday, versus 3 for 13 in his first sport again from a quad damage. However he had seven turnovers in Sport 6, suggesting he’s not in his typical groove but.

— PRESSURE IS ON: Houston. They got here into this season as a title contender; the Thunder have been a shock story. If the Rockets lose this sport, who is aware of what occurs this offseason.

___

Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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