The San Antonio Spurs struggled to contain the Houston Rockets red-hot three point shooting in Game 1 and they felt that struggle once again on Sunday night in Houston.
The Rockets converted 19 shots from beyond the arc as they earned a 125-104 win over the Spurs in Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinals series to even the series at two games apiece.
James Harden led the Rockets with 28 points and Eric Gordon added 22, including six three’s for Houston, who led the game and never trailed.
”I think our energy was just up no matter what,” Harden said. ”They went on runs. They cut the deficit down … but no matter, what we just stayed with it.”
The Spurs were led by Jonathon Simmons’ 17 points. Both LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard each added 16 and rookie Dejounte Murray had eight points in his second straight start of the series.
San Antonio seemed to let the fast pace affect them early, trailing 12-4 before coach Gregg Popovich called timeout.
”Our bible begins with transition defense, and if it’s not there, then we’re just not ready to go,” Popovich said after the game. ”If you had seen clips of our transition D (Sunday), you would trade all the players and fire me by the end of the game. It was that bad.”
San Antonio would cut the deficit to just five points before Houston went on an 8-2 run to put the game away for good.
Player of the Game:
Eric Gordon is Project Spurs’ Player of the Game. His hot shooting sparked the Rockets early in the second half as they built their lead up to 13 points and never looked back.
Up next: The best-of-seven series is even 2-2 and the Spurs will look to take control of the series in Game 5 at the AT&T Center on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.