Chris Paul lifts Roar to Match 6 dominate — and reminds Rockets what they're absent

With four minutes left in Monday night's Down 6, the Thunder followed the Rockets, 98-92. After Dennis Schroder was required a hostile foul, Chris Paul got hit with a specialized that gave James Solidify a free toss and pushed Houston's lead to six. 

Oklahoma City could have collapsed there at that time, and its 2019-20 mission despite everything would have been viewed as a triumph. The Thunder weren't relied upon to make the end of the season games in the stacked Western Meeting, not to mention about land in the best four of the standings. There would have been no disgrace in losing to a Rockets group with title yearnings. 

But, the Thunder have Paul — and however the 35-year-old might be eliminated from his athletic prime, his ability level, ball level of intelligence and serious determination have made him the best grip major part in b-ball this season. 

Over the last four minutes of guideline, Paul hit two colossal 3-pointers, caught several takes and smoothly depleted the free tosses that put the Roar ahead for good. OKC completed Game 6 on a 12-2 run, eventually winning by a last score of 104-100 and compelling a champ bring home all the glory Game 7 on Wednesday. 

Paul's certainty was discernable. After one especially troublesome endeavor from past the curve sprinkled through the net, he tapped Rockets forward Robert Covington on the backside, as though to state, "Decent attempt, kid. Hopefully things will work out sometime down the road." 

This exhibition was a continuation of what Paul has been doing since the time the Rockets exchanged him to the Thunder trade for Russell Westbrook the previous summer. Through the normal season and end of the season games, Paul has added up to 171 focuses in grip time, the most in the NBA, while shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point go. 

"At the point when it gets the opportunity to grasp time, final quarter, a few people (are) worked for it. A few people avoid it," Paul told dynamite's Jared Greenberg in his postgame meet. "You saw (Damian Lilliard), such stuff. A few people (are) worked for it, man. We're going to continue hooping." 

Perhaps Paul's remarks weren't implied as a burrow at Solidify and Westbrook, however it was hard not to see it that way considering Lillard killed Westbrook's Roar from the postseason in 2019. Neither Solidify nor Westbrook did much down the stretch in Game 6: 

Paul Fourth quarter stats Harden/Westbrook 

15 Points 10 

5-7 Field goals 3-11 

3-3 3-point field goals 1-4 

Westbrook turned the ball more than multiple times in only 27 minutes, including a helpless go to Covington on a significant belonging late in the final quarter. He air-balled a midrange jumper with the score tied at 100 and under a moment to go. 

Solidify's line of 32 focuses, eight bounce back and seven helps glanced great in the container score, yet he additionally had five turnovers and appeared to be substance to let the offense go through Westbrook as the Thunder took control. 

The Rockets' three successes in the arrangement have dropped by edges of 15, 13 and 34 focuses. In any case, when it has been tight in the final quarter, the Thunder have won. Trusting your group is up by at least 15 preceding the beginning of the last time frame is definitely not an incredible technique. 

OKC heads into Game 7 knowing which player will guide the boat in those key minutes. 

In the event that Houston winds up in that position, however, who will step up? It sure would be ideal to have somebody like Paul.

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