The Warriors have been a 1.5-point underdog in Sport 1 of their Western Convention Finals collection with the Rockets because it tipped off on Monday evening in Houston. It was the primary time that Steph Curry and Kevin Durant have been each energetic and Golden State was an underdog and on Monday everybody was reminded why that had by no means occurred and, possible, gained’t occur once more any time quickly.
The Rockets got here out scorching 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 have been merely attempting to hold on and hold round, whereas Golden State appeared to be on the point of breaking their lead broad open at any second. Finally, the end result was a 119-106 Warriors win, following the lead of final yr’s Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who dominated all sport with 37 factors and will seemingly get no matter shot he needed 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.
Nonetheless, nobody else on the Rockets was in a position to 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 a giant enhance 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 possible wouldn’t have mattered. The Warriors’ onslaught was an excessive amount of for Houston, which struggled down the stretch to get beauty 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 staff, which signifies precisely how good they’ll must be in an effort to get wins on this collection.
Golden State rode the offensive efforts of Durant and Thompson, getting away with a considerably lackluster Steph Curry outing (18 factors, eight assists, and 6 rebounds actually isn’t shabby, however you didn’t really feel his imprint on this sport as a lot as regular) 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 function gamers to knock down open threes, whereas the Warriors can afford an off evening from key contributors.
We’ll see if the Rockets can regroup and get that crucial effort in Sport 2 on Wednesday to at the least take a collection break up to Oakland.
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