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The Warriors had been a 1.5-point underdog in Sport 1 of their Western Convention Finals sequence with the Rockets because it tipped off on Monday night time in Houston. It was the primary time that Steph Curry and Kevin Durant had been each energetic and Golden State was an underdog and on Monday everybody was reminded why that had by no means occurred and, seemingly, gained’t occur once more any time quickly.

The Rockets got here out sizzling and jumped out to an early lead, however the Warriors by no means panicked pulling again inside one level as they entered the second quarter. From there, it was Golden State’s flip to take transient management earlier than James Harden and the Rockets stormed again to tie issues up at halftime.

Within the third quarter the Warriors seized management and whereas Houston by no means actually confronted an enormous deficit, it all the time felt like they had been merely making an attempt to hold on and grasp round, whereas Golden State appeared to be on the point of breaking their lead huge open at any second. Finally, the end result was a 119-106 Warriors win, following the lead of final 12 months’s Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who dominated all recreation with 37 factors and will seemingly get no matter shot he wished at any given second.

Houston obtained a monster efficiency from the presumed NBA MVP, James Harden, as he lit up the Warriors to the tune of 41 factors, doing injury from everywhere in the court docket.

Nevertheless, nobody else on the Rockets was capable of complement Harden’s effort, as Chris Paul had 23 factors, 11 rebounds, and three assists, however wanted 14 photographs to get these 17 factors. The place Harden appeared at instances to be going it alone, Durant obtained an enormous increase from Klay Thompson who had 28 factors, together with six three-pointers that included what turned out to be the dagger, with the Rockets down simply seven with 4 minutes to play after an obvious backcourt violation wasn’t referred to as.


Even with that minor little bit of controversy, it seemingly wouldn’t have mattered. The Warriors’ onslaught was an excessive amount of for Houston, which struggled down the stretch to get attractiveness in opposition to the Golden State protection. The Rockets shot the ball solidly, however not spectacularly, with a 46.four/35.1/71.four capturing break up as a group, which signifies precisely how good they’ll must be to be able to get wins on this sequence.

Golden State rode the offensive efforts of Durant and Thompson, getting away with a lackluster Steph Curry outing due to the efforts of his backcourt mate and fellow former MVP teammate. That gave the impression to be the most important distinction in Sport 1. Golden State’s margin for error is a lot bigger than Houston’s within the sense that the Rockets want Harden and Paul to indicate up, together with their position gamers to knock down open threes, whereas the Warriors can afford an off night time from key contributors.

We’ll see if the Rockets can regroup and get that vital effort in Sport 2 on Wednesday to at the least take a sequence break up to Oakland.

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