“Oh, I said something to all of them,” Tucker said, cracking a slight grin after the Rockets’ 126-121 overtime win in Game 3 to record their first victory of the Western Conference semifinals series.
D’Antoni didn’t need any more convincing. He called timeout and substituted in Tucker. Suddenly, Durant appeared to be human again, scoring only seven points on 2-of-7 shooting in the final 15 minutes of the game, including overtime, with Tucker as his primary defender.china nike nfl jerseys cheap
Tucker dominated the glass down the stretch, grabbing nine of his game-high 12 rebounds in the fourth quarter and overtime, a major factor in the Rockets’ dominating the rebounding battle by a 55-35 margin. He also scored all seven of his points after checking back in with 10 minutes, 1 second remaining in regulation. He unleashed a primal screen after fighting for two offensive rebounds and muscling in a lead-changing, and-1 putback for his first points at the 7:19 mark of the first quarter and made two smart cuts for buckets in overtime.
“That’s who Tuck is,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a winner, and he wouldn’t let us lose.”
Reigning MVP James Harden had his highest-scoring game of this postseason. He put up 41 points, including half of the Rockets’ 14 in overtime, sinking a stepback 3 and floater in the final minute to seal the win.
Shooting guard Eric Gordon had a sensational night, scoring 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting and hitting half of his 14 3-point attempts.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china
Center Clint Capela made his biggest impact of the series after a disappointing first two games, scoring 13 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and rejecting an Andre Iguodala dunk attempt in spectacular fashion.
But it was Tucker, the lowest-paid and lowest-scoring member of Houston’s starting lineup, whom Rockets teammates and coaches raved about the most after notching their first win of the highly anticipated series between West heavyweights.
“Tuck doesn’t do any of the glamorous stuff,” said guard Chris Paul, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. “All of the stuff he does doesn’t [necessarily] show up on the stat sheet. We say it all the time, but it’s always nice for other people to get a chance to see it and appreciate it. He’s easily one of the most valuable guys on our team just because of the way he plays. He plays hard, and he forces you to do the same.”
Tucker’s toughness and versatility give the Rockets the option to go small and counter the Warriors’ feared “Hamptons 5” lineup, which features Draymond Green at center. Houston played much of the fourth quarter and all but 44 seconds of overtime with Tucker, who is 6-foot-6, at center surrounded by four guards and still outrebounded the Warriors by a 17-9 margin in that span.