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Season Series: Oklahoma City leads 2-1
Nov. 28, 2012 at Chesapeake Energy Arena: 120-98 OKC win.
Dec. 29, 2012 at Toyota Center: 124-94 OKC win.
Feb. 20, 2013 at Toyota Center: 122-119 Houston win.
Let's preface this by stating that it is very unlikely, but if James Harden and the Houston Rockets found a way to defeat his former Oklahoma City Thunder squad, it would go down as one of the greatest and most storied upsets in NBA playoffs history.
Yes, again, it's very unlikely to happen, but the Houston Rockets have the youngest starting five in the NBA, and that may be just as advantageous as it is crippling in the postseason when veteran experience is so valuable. Because with youth and vigor comes inexperience.
Harden, at least, has been tested. Even though he was a third fiddle in OKC, Harden gained valuable playoff experience that he'll be able to inculcate to his teammates during the postseason. Expect Harden to have a much more veteran role than the typical fourth-year NBA player. Harden has played 43 career playoff games, and averaged 16.3 points per game on 43.5 percent shooting.
The Thunder won the first two matchups between the teams this season, but in the most recent on Feb. 20, the Houston Rockets won by three points in a high scoring shootout at the Toyota Center. Harden lit his former team up for 46 points on 14-of-19 shooting, while also grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out six assists.
Jeremy Lin contributed 29 points on 12-of-22 shooting, and the Rockets' starting backcourt hit a combined 10 threes.
Chandler Parsons performed his typical glue guy role, scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebounds and recording four dimes.
The Rockets started Chandler Parsons at power forward because they had just dealt two power forwards at the trade deadline. And they still won.
That improbable victory is the improbable proof that it could happen again.
Four times out of seven? Right, see, that's really stretching it, but the Rockets could steal a game or two in this series, and they're a team to watch out for in upcoming years.