3. Houston Early Run Crushed the Cavs
People will look at the box score and think ‘wow, what a close game only losing by four,’ but the game really felt like at times a Houston runaway as they led by 11 after the first quarter.
That first was defined by a 17-0 run by the Rockets that put the Cavs way behind the 8-ball. With Green’s hot-hand in the second they rallied all the way to trailing by just two at the half, but if the Cavs would have been able to play D they woudln’t have had to go into panic mode in the second quarter.
They outscored the Rockets 42-29 in that second period, but by then they were playing from behind and they had to push the flow and play right into the Rockets hands.
That tempo helped two big players for the Rockets control the game, as James Harden went for a 35-point night, Eric Gordon scored 20, and the Rockets had six players in double-digits – just too much Rockets offense, and it started early with the big 17-0 run.