After an extremely competitive series, and a thrilling game 5, the San Antonio Spurs completely blew away the Houston Rockets last night to the tune of a 114-75 victory.

 

The 39 point win for the Spurs might be the most surprising win of the playoffs, not because of the fact that they closed it out on the road, but because of how bad the Rockets looked.

 

The most telling stat of the game wasn’t the fact that their MVP candidate James Harden only had 10 points on 2 of 11 shooting, but moreso the fact that they only converted 9 two-point field goals the entire game.

 

The Rockets are a three point shooting team and set the record for most team three-pointers made this season, but to only have 9 two-point field goals is absurd. This was the definition of living and dying by the three.

Now back to Harden.

 

All season, we have heralded his play and put him at the top of the conversation for the league MVP award. Averaging over 30 points and leading the league in assists at the same time is magical. However, Thursday night proved that all of that doesn’t matter if you can’t get it done when it matters most.

 

For Harden, who is considered a superstar, game 6 was an opportunity to have a statement game for you team at home to force a game 7. Suffice to say, he completely vanished from this opportunity.

 

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Everyone has bad games, but there’s no reason as to why a player who scores over 30 points a game to only take 11 shots in an elimination game. On top of that, he looked mentally drained and didn’t seem to care about the fact that his team was losing badly. He lacked aggressiveness. He lacked passion. He lacked the intangibles that helped his team to be the third seed in the west and that made his a prime candidate for MVP.

 

Plain and simple, Harden sold out in game 6 and now his team has to look toward next year for answers.

 

On the flip side, the Spurs continue to show their championship pedigree year in and year out. With their star Kawhi Leonard out with an ankle injury sustained in game 5, the Spurs didn’t miss a beat and stepped up as a team.

 

After much scrutiny was heaped on him for his play throughout this series, Lamarcus Aldridge became the go-to guy in game 6 and poured in 34 points on 16 of 26 shooting while adding 12 rebounds in a dominating performance.

 

Players like Jonathan Simmons and Danny Green stepped up as well, making plays on both offense and defense.

 

Overall, it was a Spurs victory that wasn’t surprising in its black and white result of a win, but what surrounded the win was a huge shock.

 

For a competitive series like this to ever have a game end with a 39 point differential, is just as much a reflection of how poorly the losing team played than how great the winning team played.

 

It was clear that the Spurs wanted it way more than the Rockets.

 

Were you surprised at the margin of victory in this game? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.