Chris Paul says defense, not 50-point quarter, sparked bounce-back win vs. Timberwolves
After a vintage performance by the Houston Rockets in Game 4, veteran point guard Chris Paul argued their win wasn’t about a franchise-record 50-point third quarter, but rather the defensive effort they put forward that paved the way for their offensive explosion.
“Everybody will look at the 50 points, but it was our defense,” said Paul, according to ClutchFans. “We finally started making them take tough shots. We got rebounds. And we’re tough in transition. You got James coming downhill and myself and the way we got the court spaced with shooters, that’s big.”
The devil is in the details, and Paul knows that blocking shots, forcing turnovers, and pushing the ball after defensive rebounds were the igniters of a massive 50-20 differential in the third.
The Rockets regained some of their offensive firepower, as they had yet to top 105 points through the first three games of the series.
James Harden led the charge with 36 points, and Paul followed with 25 of his own — and while the team shot only 43.5 percent as a whole, most of their 16 long distance makes came in the third period, carving a 100-69 advantage over the Timberwolves.
If they could keep those offensive explosions consistent with their defensive prowess, the Rockets should prove as the fearsome contenders they had been expected to be throughout the regular season.
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