Watch NBA Playoffs 2013 Game 4 Thunder at Rockets

No Russell Westbrook, no problem. That’s the thought process running through the brain of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder after they narrowly defeated the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of their 2013 NBA Playoffs Round 1 match to take a commanding 3-0 lead. And they did it without their floor general and second-best scorer.

For the Rockets, the Game 3 loss was a huge blow in more than one way. They were playing their first playoff game at home after dropping the first two in Oklahoma City and knew going in that Westbrook was out for the remainder of the playoffs. Yet even without Westbrook, the Rockets were unable to slow down a Durant-led offense that scored over 100 points.

Durant’s 41 points ended up being the difference in Game 3. If the Rockets are to have any chance of winning Game 4 and extending the series to a fifth game, they had best find a way to slow down Durant’s production, even if only by a few percentage points shooting accuracy-wise.

Complicating matters for the Rockets tonight is the potential loss of Jeremy Lin. He played with a bruised chest muscle in Game 3 but was clearly hampered by the injury in scoring only two points in 18 minutes. Houston coach Kevin McHale has publicly stated that Lin will sit if it is deemed in practice that he will be unable to help the team on the floor.

Houston could also use a little more accuracy from James Harden, their go-to scorer. Even though Harden scored 30 in the Game 3 loss, he did so on only 9-22 shooting including 2-8 from beyond the arc. One more three-pointer would have resulted in a tie game.

Tonight’s NBA 2013 Round 1 Playoff do or die Game 4 bout between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets gets underway at 6:30/5:30c in high definition on TNT. If you are a cable subscriber and have TNT in your package, you can watch a free online live streaming version of the game here at TNT Overtime on your iPad, mobile phone, laptop or other Internet connected device. With Lin doubtful if not out for tonight, I’m going to predict another Kevin Durant outburst and a Thunder sweep of the Rockets by a final score of 105-99.

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