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OKC Thunder vs. Houston Rockets Game 4 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Thunder vs Rockets NBA Handicapping

Ok, maybe someone in the Houston Rockets camp can explain how a team can fall behind by 26 points in an important playoff game. At home. Against an opponent still trying to figure things out two days after losing its second-best player.

Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder (3-0) at Houston Rockets (0-3)
Monday, April 29
Toyota Center, Houston
9:30 p.m. EST
Spread – Thunder -1.5 at TopBet

O/U – 206.5

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Maybe the Rockets’ fold in Game 3 had something to do with Jeremy Lin not being at 100 percent and Houston not being to take full advantage of the Thunder missing Russell Westbrook.

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Maybe not. But Lin, who has not been shy about this season about his team not always putting its pedal to the metal, put up his third straight bowser of a game (he has 13 total points of 5-for-20 shooting over three games) on Saturday night and the Rockets are on the fast track to elimination in these playoffs.

Houston is going down. The only question is whether it will be tonight in Texas in Game 4 or later on this week. But go down the Rockets will. Forty-one points by Kevin Durant on Saturday night and a stunningly lackluster effort by Houston in the first two periods guaranteed that this series will not go deep.

Houston’s job right now is to figure out a way to get off the blocks faster tonight than it did on Saturday. Then again, any change would be an improvement after Houston gave up 39 points in the opening 12 minutes and carried a 20-point deficit of an anvil into the final three periods. [ad-6571516]

OKC is hoping to get this thing over with in a hurry so coach Scott Brooks can buy some practice time before the start of the next series and work Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher into the equation after Westbrook went down for the season.

Early returns are promising – Jackson and Fisher combined for 23 points, and Fisher had zero turnovers in 24-plus minutes. That’s important, because Job 1 in the Thunder offense is to keep possession of the ball and work it until Durant gets an open look.

The Westbrook injury and Houston’s nearly swiping of Game 2 in OKC appeared to have opened the door wide open and portend a 6- or 7-game series.

But the Rockets’ F-for-effort first quarter put an end to that talk, and now it’s a matter of time before the Thunder get it over with.

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Houston is desperate to find another offensive threat to make life easier on James Harden, and the Rockets may have found him in Francisco Garcia, who had 18 points in 24 minutes in Game 3.

Looking for Houston to avoid a slow start this time and break through, though an under play makes more sense than a bet on the side since fatigue has to be setting in as all the key offensive players have played huge minutes the entire series.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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