LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida — In a crammed schedule after the NBA’s restart, rest has been hard to find.
Teams played eight games in two weeks after play resumed on July 30, then jumped into the postseason. Midway through the first round, fatigue might start to show.
That’s why wrapping up series quickly, almost always a good thing, might be even more important this year. Miami has its chance. The Lakers and Bucks look like they still might.
And Houston might regret if it let its opportunity get away.
After wasting a late lead and dropping Game 3 in overtime, the Rockets look to regain control of their series against Oklahoma City when the teams meet Monday.
“Playoffs, you’ve got some adversity somewhere and this is adversity,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Now we’ve got to come out, make another statement, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
Houston had a five-point lead with under a minute remaining in regulation Saturday, before the Thunder rallied for a 119-107 victory in overtime that trimmed the Rockets’ lead to 2-1. Had Houston held on to go ahead 3-0, it would have given them a lead that has never been blown in the NBA playoffs.
The Heat haven’t had any such adversity. With Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic leading the way, they have a 3-0 lead over Indiana.
Milwaukee and Los Angeles dropped their openers, the first time both No. 1 seeds started with losses to the No. 8s since 2003. But they have both rebounded with consecutive victories, easily enough that they seem capable of finishing things off in five games.
The Rockets still could, but in a series between teams that appear so evenly matched, the momentum belongs to the Thunder.
“When you look at the fact that we got a win last night, we’re playing again tomorrow afternoon and we’ve got to do it all over again,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.
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