Live playoff updates: Warriors vs. Rockets, Game 2 on Wednesday
Join us for live news and analysis Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. as the Warriors look to seize a commanding lead in the Western Conference Finals when they take on the Rockets in Houston for Game 2.
The Rockets were summarily silenced by the Warriors in Game 1 on Monday and now Houston is facing a must-win situation in Game 2 following Golden State’s impressive 119-106 Game 1 win.
James Harden scored 41 points in Game 1 but need to do even more if the Rockets can avoid becoming the first team to win 65 or more games and trail a series 2-0 in NBA postseason history.
The Warriors had plenty of answers for the team with the NBA’s best regular season record in Game 1, beginning with Kevin Durant’s dominating 37-point performance. Klay Thompson (28 points, 6 3-pointers) and Stephen Curry (18 points, 8-of-15 shooting) chipped in offensively, as did Nick Young (3 3-pointers).
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Defensively, the Warriors were able to successfully handle the Rockets’ isolation and pick-and-roll game, even with Harden’s big night. The question is can Golden State duplicate that effort?
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The series will shift to Oakland on Sunday for Game 3, beginning at 5 p.m.
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets were the best team in the NBA in the regular season.
They played like it Wednesday night, using a balanced scoring attack to rout the Golden State Warriors 127-105 and even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.
James Harden and Eric Gordon each scored 27 points on a night Houston had five players score 16 points or more.
“We can beat anybody, anywhere at any time playing the way we play,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
The Rockets didn’t trail after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night. They head to Oakland, California for Game 3 on Sunday night feeling much better after rebounding from a deflating 119-106 loss in the series opener.
P.J. Tucker added a playoff career-high 22 and Trevor Ariza had 19 as both bounced back after struggling in Game 1. Tucker had just one point in that game and Ariza scored eight, but was limited on defense after collecting his fifth foul early in the third quarter.
They were more settled tonight and they hit timely shots,” Durant said. “The first quarter was still the most important part of the game. Eric Gordon hit two big 3s and that kind of settled them in. Those shots did it for them.”
Houston avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this postseason and the Warriors lost in the second game of a playoff series for the first time since the 2015 NBA Finals, snapping a 10-game winning streak in such games.
“We got outplayed the whole game … we got it handed to us,” Kerr said. “You can look at it any way you want … and parcel it out, but it didn’t matter who we had out there tonight we got beat.”
Houston led by as many as 19 in the first half and was up 64-50 at halftime. The Warriors cut it to 74-64 with five quick points from Durant, but the Rockets opened it back up to 89-72 when Gordon made an off-balance layup before crashing to the court while being fouled and made the free throw.
The Rockets were up by 16 to start the fourth quarter but Golden State got within 98-86 with about 10 minutes left. Curry had five points in that span, including his first 3 after missing his first six attempts of the night.
Curry finished with 16 points and Thompson was 3 for 11 for his eight points.