NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game 3 Injury Updates, Lineup and Predictions

Published 08/22/2020, 4:00 PM EDT


For a minute there, it really felt like Oklahoma City Thunder could tie up the series. However, the Houston Rockets’ excellent defense prevented that from happening and Game 2 was officially under their belt. The Rockets are leading with a 2-0 in the series and Thunder is having a hard time pulling the brakes on them.

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It is quite surprising that the Rockets are in a comfortable lead even without their star player, Russell Westbrook. What the OKC really needs to focus on now is how to cool off James Harden, only then can they stand a chance in Game 3.

Houston Rockets injury updates and lineup predictions

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In Saturday’s Game 3 of the Playoffs, Russell Westbrook is still ruled out for the game. Fortunately for the Rockets, his absence hasn’t caused huge issues. James Harden took the lead and was able to score 37 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists in the opener. It is very scary that this isn’t even his best performance display, and he still led the Rockets to a victory with it.
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Seven of the players were able to score in double-digits in the last game to support Harden. It is their defense that they need to keep intact as they did in Game 3 to maintain the lead they have. Along with Westbrook, power forward Luc Mbah a Moute is also out for the game.
Thus, the predicted lineup would James Harden, Eric Gordon, Danuel House Jr., Robert Covington, and P.J. Tucker.

Oklahoma City Thunder injury updates and lineup predictions

The biggest drawback for the Thunder’s in the last game was their offense. They were doing decent on the other side of the court but their offense threw off the winnable game. Their offense is handled by Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Shai dropped 31 points but Chris Paul underperformed in the previous game with only 14 points. However, Pauls’ playoff consistency is one that OKC can bank on. Therefore, he is likely to get back in form in this crucial game.
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Falling behind in the series will make it impossible for them to make a comeback, putting the team under even more pressure. Maybe a healthy roster could help them tackle the Rockets as strategically as possible.

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The predicted lineup would be Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Danilo Gallinari, and Steven Adams.

Game predictions

With Westbrook’s return still uncertain, the Rockets still remain in a very vulnerable position. The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently the underdogs that everyone wants to see make a comeback and give a fight to the Rockets.

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Yashima Bhatia

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Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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