The Rockets seemed to find some answers in Game 2, starting Patrick Beverley for the first time and using a three-guard lineup for all but a few brief moments. McHale felt the change allowed Houston to penetrate the lane more frequently, with one of his perimeter threats often matched up against one of the two Thunder big men, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.

”They kind of put a tight shell out there, but once you break that shell and get on the inside, a lot of stuff can open up,” McHale said. ”We had a lot of good catch and shoot 3s, open 3s and that’s how we have to play.

”We don’t have a dominant inside presence. A lot of our inside points are finishing on dunks and tipped dunks. It’s our guys going in there and making plays against their bigs and then kicking it out.”

McHale also found success by going with a 2-3 zone after Oklahoma City had built its biggest lead at 89-74 early in the fourth quarter. Houston responded by scoring 21 of the next 23 points, even taking the lead.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press