P.J. Tucker says nobody can box him out
Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker was the unsung hero of a clutch Game 4 win over the Golden State Warriors, as his hustle, grit, and relentlessness proved key in securing another home win to even up the series at 2-2.
Head coach Mike D’Antoni resorted to matching the Warriors’ Hamptons 5 lineup with a small lineup of his own, one that featured the 6-foot-6 Tucker at center, who carved up the defending champions on the boards, ensnaring five of his own.
“I just feel like nobody can box me out,” Tucker told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports after posting 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. “That’s something I’ve been doing all my life. I’ve always ate off the boards. It’s something nobody likes to do.”
While some prefer to rack up 30-point games and other accolades, Tucker’s game is based on the grit and the grind — two words that got him started in this league after a long road overseas.
“People don’t like boxing out, man. It’s tough. It’s hard to box somebody out,” said Tucker. “I’ve always been a pretty good rebounder, but when I get guards on me, I don’t think they can box me out. It’s just going and getting it. Those are winning plays. Extra possessions might win the game.”
Tucker relishes these sort of opportunities, including guarding Kevin Durant — something he’s tried to do to the best of his ability throughout the course of this series — even with him averaging 36 points per game in this Western Conference Semifinals.
The Rockets out-rebounded the Warriors 13-to-8 on the offensive glass, with Tucker’s five offensive boards likely being the massive difference for his team in a 112-108 win.