One of the keys to the game before the opening tip was the play of Harden, and if one were to figure he'd finish with 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting, then it would seem as though the Rockets were doomed.
Chandler Parsons and Houston's supporting cast made sure that wasn't the case, as Parsons continues to emerge as a standout player on both his team and in the NBA Playoffs. His 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists lifted the Rockets in a stellar third quarter and maintained enough momentum to hold off the defending Western Conference champions.
"We know we can play with these guys," Parsons told reporters following the game via NBA.com. "We know we can beat these guys. There was no way we were going to give this thing up."
It was evident in his play. Parsons scored 11 points in the lopsided third frame to put the Rockets ahead going into the fourth and managed to get his teammates involved. One of those players was Carlos Delfino, who threw down a dunk that sent Toyota Center into a frenzy and clearly lifted the spirits of a motivated Houston squad.
The best thing about Parsons' performance was the ability he showed to get others involved, including Harden, who used a resurgent second half to have a positive effect on the game.
"We have so many guys that can create and make plays, Harden said following the game via NBA.com. "Chandler had a great game tonight."