Everyone take a deep breath. This series is over.
The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 103-94 tonight in Game 6 to advance to the second round where they will take on the Memphis Grizzlies.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists. After being held scoreless in the fourth quarter in Game 5, Durant came out aggressive scoring nine points in the final period tonight.
The Thunder got a huge help from their bench tonight.
It was Kevin Martin stepping up in the first half where he scored 21 of his 25 points in the game. Derek Fisher also came in to provide a huge lift with 11 points and three three-pointers. The Thunder were plus-32 in Fisher’s 27 minutes.
Nick Collison played 22 minutes and the Thunder were plus-20 while he was on the floor. He finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end.
Reggie Jackson also came up huge for the Thunder finishing with 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
James Harden struggled for the most part scoring 26 points on 7-for-22 shooting.
The biggest key for the Thunder tonight was Martin and Jackson stepping up in the first half and then Fisher and Collison in the second. Durant didn’t have to do everything tonight and the well-balanced effort from OKC allowed them to outlast a valiant Houston effort.
Give Scott Brooks credit too for matching up with the Rockets and playing Kendrick Perkins just four minutes.
The road will of course get tougher in Round 2. Houston was no slouch and became that much tougher after the Russell Westbrook injury. But the Grizzlies should be tougher.
The good news for the Thunder is they won’t have to worry about matching up with small lineups in the next round. Perkins becomes relevant again and the more conventional style of play may actually bode well for the Thunder.
Game 1 in that series will be Sunday at noon CST in OKC on ABC.