It's Game 7 for Thunder-Rockets, Game 2 on tap in Heat-Bucks

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Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul (3), Dennis Schroder (17), head coach Billy Donovan, center rear, and others celebrate their 104-100 win against the Houston Rockets in an NBA first-round playoff basketball game, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The last time the Houston Rockets played a Game 7, they didn’t have Chris Paul and they wound up losing.

Paul wants to see history repeat itself.

The former Houston guard simply has willed fifth-seeded Oklahoma City into a deciding game of its Western Conference first-round series against the fourth-seeded Rockets, with Game 7 — the last game of the opening round of this postseason — set to be played Wednesday night.

“Ain’t nothing like it,” Paul said.

The winner moves on to Game 1 of a West semifinal series against the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. The loser leaves the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World and goes home, certain to be lamenting a chance that got away.

Houston might already be dealing with some regret. The Rockets had a six-point lead with the ball with 4:01 left in Game 6, a perfect chance to close out the game and the series. They got outscored 12-2 the rest of the way, missing six of their last seven shots and turning the ball over three times in that span.

“We played about as bad as we can play,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. “And we were right there. ... We’re going to respond.”

The Rockets’ most recent appearance in a Game 7 was the Western Conference finals in 2018, the year they wasted a 3-2 series lead against Golden State — falling after Paul was lost for the last two games of that series with a hamstring injury.