The most realistic Rockets fan got his wish Monday night. Through two gut-wrenching losses in Games 2 & 3, the Rockets at least knew they could beat the Thunder. You don’t get the 1-seed on the ropes that many times without finally delivering your own big shot. It was all about withstanding Kevin Durant.

And they did, finally.

Durant put up arguably the most efficient 38-point game you’re going to see all season (12-16 from the floor, 13-15 from the line) and yet the Rockets still hung on for a 2-point win, 105-103 to force Game 5 in their best of 7 first round matchup with OKC. The ghosts of Games 2 & 3 where the offense relies heavily on James Harden in the final moments almost reared their heads again as Harden was flaky at best all Monday night, compiling 15 points and an alarming 10 turnovers.

But there’s Chandler Parsons packing his resume as the second best player on this squad – netting a stat line only Hakeem & Ralph compiled inside of a Rockets uniform. Tallying at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, its clear with every game we’re realizing why GM Daryl Morey decided Parsons was worth being the only hold over from last year’s squad to even make the roster in the playoffs.

The Rockets have life, but they also have to look in the opposite corner and see Durant, winded and obviously lacking the sort of deferment that was afforded to him with both Harden & Russell Westbrook on the floor. Nobody ever proclaimed Scott Brooks as one of the league’s noted geniuses with a pen and a clipboard to draw up plays for KD but it’s clear – letting Durant turn in to Cleveland-LeBron may not get the Thunder back to the NBA Finals.

And will somebody help poor Serge Ibaka off the ground? After blowing an easy layup, the OKC swatter crumbled like an old woman at a baptist church who saw the Lord’s work.