Sept. 1 (UPI) — Chris Paul scored 15 factors within the fourth quarter to reduction the Oklahoma Metropolis Express beat the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their first-round Western Convention playoff assortment to power a decisive Game 7 in Orlando, Fla.
Paul paced the Express with 28 factors, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals within the 104-100 steal Monday on the ESPN Extensive World of Sports Complex internal Walt Disney World Resort. The game featured 14 lead adjustments and was once tied 11 occasions.
“We had been in these extra or much less scenarios all season lengthy, so we gorgeous fashion of thrive in them,” Paul acknowledged of the Express’s foremost victory.
Rockets guard James Harden had a game-excessive 32 factors, eight rebounds and seven assists within the loss. Russell Westbrook scored 17 factors but had a game-excessive seven of the Rockets’ 22 turnovers.
“We all relish a protracted-established unprejudiced: to steal the game,” Paul acknowledged. “We gorgeous strive to compete and fight as hard as we are in a position to and strive to get rid of it quarter by quarter and minute by minute.”
Houston and Oklahoma Metropolis exchanged the lead within the foremost quarter until the Rockets went on an 8-0 bustle to get rid of a 13-8 edge with 5: 30 remaining within the body. The teams exchanged the lead all over all yet again sooner than Westbrook made a shot with 52 seconds remaining within the quarter to present the Rockets a 25-24 edge.
Harden poured in 11 factors within the second quarter to reduction the Rockets possess a 51-48 edge at halftime. He scored one other nine factors within the third body, however the Express ancient an 8-0 bustle over the final 2: 30 of the quarter to grab momentum. Oklahoma Metropolis took a 77-75 lead into the final 12 minutes.
The Rockets fought support and took a six-point lead with 4: 29 remaining sooner than Paul willed his crew to victory. The Express guard hit support-to-support 3 programs to tie the glean at 98-98 with 2: 57 remaining. Dennis Schroder tied the glean all yet again at 100-100 with a minute remaining sooner than Paul sank two snatch free throws with 13.1 seconds remaining to present the final result within the Express.
Oklahoma Metropolis held off Harden and Westbrook down the stretch to stable the Game 6 steal and tie the assortment at 3-3.
“We shall be swish,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni acknowledged. “We performed about as unsuitable as we are in a position to play and we are in a position to must enact a greater job [in Game 7].
“We’re going to acknowledge.”
The Express and Rockets will face off in Game 7 at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Orlando. The winner of the assortment will face the Los Angeles Lakers within the second round at 9 p.m. EDT Friday.