NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game 7 Injury Updates, Lineup and Predictions

Published 09/02/2020, 6:30 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – AUGUST 24: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets draws a foul from Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second quarter in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 24, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


The West is about to have its second Game 7 duel tonight. The Houston Rockets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in a do-or-die battle. 3-2 up, the Rockets failed to finish off the Thunder in Game 6 due to last-second blunders.

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The Thunder refused to give up as they forced a Game 7. Their ability to perform in the clutch has been highlighted on multiple occasions, and Game 6 was just one of the 33 clutch wins they have got this season.

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They come into Game 7 with no significant injuries. Deonte Burton is the only one listed as a game-time decision at the moment. Otherwise, the Thunder will have a full-strength squad. Chris Paul and Luguentz Dort will start as the guards, Shai Gilgeuous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari as the forwards, and Steven Adams as the center.

Can the Houston Rockets seal the series with a win?

In Game 6, the Rockets choked as Russell Westbrook turned the ball over with just 10 seconds left on the clock. The Rockets were already down by two and that ended all hopes for them. Prior to that, he had also air-balled a mid-range shot, but Harden somehow salvaged that possession. They will have to a lot more careful in Game 7 and cannot afford such mistakes.

Similar to the Thunder, the Rockets do not have any major injuries. Only Luc Mbah a Moute has been listed as a game-time decision. But Westbrook has already announced he will be on a minute-restriction.

So the Rockets will have their usual lineup of Russell Westbrook and James Harden as the guards, Eric Gordon and Robert Covington as the forwards, and P. J. Tucker as the center.

Game 7 can be a weary affair and the Nuggets vs Jazz game proved that last night. James Harden has already shown some signs of fatigue. With Westbrook on a minute-restriction, he will once again face the burden of carrying the team.

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With the way the Rockets have been playing, a win is inevitable. The Thunder’s performance in the clutch is another factor that favors them. Chris Paul has been a solid leader for them and he can engineer yet another win.

The Thunder won the last game despite a poor performance from Shai. If he gets back into his groove, the Thunder will run away with an upset victory. Even if they can restrict Harden to just 30 points, that could be enough for them to seal the win.

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It will be a historic win for the franchise if they can beat the Rockets after trading away their best second-best player to them. It will go down as one of the biggest failures for the Rockets and a huge success for the Thunder.

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Aaron Mathew

1629 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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