We're going to Game 7!!
The Oklahoma City Thunder live to fight another day after clawing their way to a 104-100 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 6.
Chirs Paul was the hero for the Thunder scoring 28 points, 15 of which came in the fourth quarter. Danilo Gallinari added 25 points, including the final two free throws to ice the win.
For the Rockets, James Harden scored a game-high 32 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while Russell Westbrook added 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
Here are the key takeaways from the game:
1. Chris Paul takes over
Chris Paul got off to a slow start in Game 6, but he sprung to life with the game on the line, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter on 5-of-7 shooting and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Paul buried back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game up late and then with the scores tied at 100-100 with 13.1 seconds to go, Paul was fouled by Robert Covington on a drive to the hoop, calmly burying two clutch free throws to put the Thunder up for good.
A couple of 3's and a couple of steals by @CP3 to close out the 4th quarter and this game six. #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/NyhLyRYJn4- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) September 1, 2020
"When it comes to clutch time, fourth quarter, some people are built for it, some people shy away from it," Paul said in his on-court interview post-game.
"You saw Dame [Lillard], all that stuff, some people built for it man and we're just going to keep hooping."
Chris Paul in the clutch this season (including playoffs):- StatMuse (@statmuse) September 1, 2020
171 PTS (leads NBA)
32 WINS (leads NBA)
14 LOSSES pic.twitter.com/UCLdhMSBrP
The Thunder outscored the Rockets by 20 points with Paul on the floor in Game 6.
2. Turnovers plague Rockets
After averaging just 11 turnovers per game in the series, the Rockets turned the ball over 22 times in Game 6, with the final turnover sealing their fate.
Following Paul's free throws, Westbrook powered his way into the lane, before trying to find Covington on the 3-point line, but fired the ball out of bounds.
Credit the Thunder's defence down the stretch as they managed to get a stop on seven of their last eight possessions.
Westbrook accounted for 7 of the teams 22 turnovers, while Harden recorded 5 and Eric Gordon 4.
Russell Westbrook on Rockets' turnover problems in Game 6 loss to Thunder: "That's my fault, honestly. That's easy. Last game I had zero and tonight I had seven. Simple as that." pic.twitter.com/bd57AGv1vB- Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 1, 2020
"I had five so we've both got to be better with the basketball," Harden said post-game of his and Westbrook's turnovers.
"Twelve turnovers between the two, if we cut those down in half we give ourselves a better chance to get shot opportunities. We all got to be better."
The Rockets made just 1-of-7 shots in the final four minutes of the game, turning the ball over three times.
3. Crunchtime Thunder do it again!
No team has been better at pulling off comeback wins and eeking out clutch victories than the Thunder this season...and it's paying dividends in the post-season.
The Thunder are now 33-15 in clutch games this season (within five points in the final five minutes).
With Game 7 on the horizon, this is exactly what their season of narrow wins and comebacks has been leading up to.
4. Lu Dort time!
The Canadian rookie has made a name for himself in this series for his commendable defence against James Harden, but today he was getting it done on the offensive end.
With the Rockets leading 75-69 late in the third quarter, Dort went on a personal 8-0 run, canning back-to-back triples to send the Thunder into the fourth quarter with a two-point lead.
8-0 Luguentz Dort run!@okcthunder 77@HoustonRockets 75- NBA (@NBA) September 1, 2020
4Q underway on @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/do2uyKt5xd
5. Up Next?
The two teams will face off in less than 48 hours in a winner-take-all Game 7 on Thursday, September 3 at 6:30 a.m. IST.
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