The Rockets Finally Take Off
The reward for a job well done? A harder job.
The Houston Rockets were better on defense – especially in transition – more aggressive off the ball, better able to score in the paint and in shooting from the outside and routed the Golden State Warriors 127-105 in Houston on Wednesday night.
“We knew what was coming,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “The Rockets told us.”
Yup. More intensity, more focus, more Rockets basketball. Eric Gordon and James Harden each scored 27 points for the Rockets and P.J. Tucker scored 22. Kevin Durant showed up for the Warriors and notched 38, but he got very little help. The Warriors scored only seven fast-break points.
The Western Conference finals now stand at a game apiece, with the next two at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. Game 3 is Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
And that’s where the job gets harder for the Rockets.
The Warriors have won 15 consecutive playoff games at home, tying the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls for the all-time record. Houston’s win on Wednesday night snapped a seven-game playoff losing streak against Golden State. The Warriors are 24-4 overall in last season year’s and this year’s – and that is, of course, against the NBA’s better teams. You can see where this is going. Maybe. And maybe not.
“We can beat anybody anywhere at any time playing the way we can play,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said.
He and the Rockets will get that chance – Sunday and Tuesday. We will see if he’s right.
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