The OKC Thunder were not able to withstand a massive first-quarter run from the Houston Rockets who were red hot from deep in this contest. The Rockets went 28-for-52 from beyond the arc (53-percent) including four John Wall triples, five more from Eric Gordon, DeMarcus Cousins drilled five tripes as well, and Danuel House Jr. poured in four 3’s. Od-Friend Victor Oladipo popped 3 3’s on his way to 15 points.
Houston’s biggest lead of the night was 35 points, sparked by a 48-24 run in the first frame.
Hamidou Diallo was the biggest bright spot in this game for the OKC Thunder going for 15 points off the Thunder bench. Diallo was very selective with his shots and got to his spots well putting himself in the best position to thrive offensively. Limiting his perimeter shots to just two is a big deal for his game, including the spicy triple that ripped the cords and allowed Diallo to stare down the Rockets bench who dared him to shoot…ignore the fact OKC was down 28. Diallo, who has been forced to take on more of a lead-guard role offensively, found his footing a bit in this game dishing out four assists.
With George Hill sidelined for the next month, bumping Theo Maledon into the starting group, point guard Hami is here to stay! Diallo is turning the corner as a lead ball-handler at the right time.
Hamidou Diallo did get into some silly foul trouble, which he pointed out himself after the game, collecting 3 fouls on the defensive end. However, he was able to come away with a steal. This was not exactly a banner defensive game for anyone on the roster, so it is hard to hold this against Diallo specifically despite him taking ownership of it in the post-game presser.
While the defense was bad on Monday Night, these two teams will meet back up on Monday in the baseball-style series and the Thunder have done a really good job of adjusting to each opponent on the second go around.
For round two on Wednesday, the Thunder will still be without George Hill, however, the Rockets will miss starting point guard John Wall who was nothing short of fantastic on Monday.