What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Rockets: Game 4

by Casey Holdahl
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Wesley Matthews vs. James Harden

Wesley Matthews just completed his best season as a pro in his fifth year in the NBA. He notched career highs of 16.4 points and 3.5 rebounds, and his 201 3-pointers made were a personal best and the second-most by a Trail Blazer in team history (second only to Damian Lillard’s 218 treys this year). But for as much offensive ability as Portland’s “Ironman” has shown this season and in the series, Matthews knows it’s his defense that will be closely analyzed and have a tremendous impact on who advances to the next round. That’s because when Portland drew Houston as its First Round opponent, Matthews realized he would be staring across the floor at one of the game’s best shooting guards, James Harden. In his second consecutive All-Star season with the Rockets, Harden finished fifth in the NBA in scoring with 25.4 points per game. As adept as anyone in the NBA at getting to the foul line, Harden ranked second in the league in free throws made (576). But in the first three games of this series, Matthews and company have held Harden below his average in free throws made and attempted, while limiting him to just 27-for-85 (32.9%) field goal shooting and an 8-for-30 (26.7%) clip from downtown. Matthews will look to continue to utilize all 94 feet to put his imprint on Game 4.

Wesley Matthews

• Joins Kevin Durant as the only NBA players to make at least 125 3-pointers in each of the last four seasons
• Ranked fifth in the NBA this season with 201 3-pointers, second-most by a Trail Blazer in franchise history
• Playing in his 20th career playoff game – holds averages of 11.3 points and 2.8 rebounds

James Harden

• Ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring in both 2012-13 (25.9) and 2013-14 (25.4)
• Made 1,250 free throws over the last two seasons, second-most in the NBA (Kevin Durant)
• Named NBA Sixth Man of the Year with Oklahoma City in 2011-12 before earning All-Star nominations each of the last two years with Houston