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Five Thoughts: Are the Warriors Simply Too Much for the Rockets?

15 May, 2018, 13:16 | Author: Joan Malone
  • Harden x Green

Houston ended a scoring drought of more than two minutes with a dunk by Harden seconds later and the Warriors followed with another run, scoring six straight points to extend it to 85-72 with just more than two minutes left in the third.

Houston's best hope hinged on the fact that Curry might not be close to 100 percent in the Western Conference Finals.

The defending champions snatched home-court advantage with a frenetic 119-106 win at Toyota Center on Tuesday (NZT). Mostly though, there was Kevin Durant and James Harden. Hopefully the former unanimous MVP finds a much more consistent rhythm as the series progresses.

Houston had Harden, and he was indeed MVP-worthy, drilling step-back jumpers and chopping up the Warriors near the rim, where he dropped layups or drew fouls. Both played like it Monday, and it was something to behold.

Kevin Durant was the difference maker for the Warriors on Tuesday.

National Basketball Association scoring champion James Harden scored a game-high 41 points to lead the Rockets while Chris Paul added 23 points and 11 rebounds. Each had opposing bodies in his chest and hands in his face, efforts that generally proved futile. I don't know what you do to guard him.

Curry x CP3
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"In some games and some series, you make mistakes and guys don't make those shots, but tonight, every time we did it, they made the shots". When the Rockets had the ball, they worked hard to funnel Harden into particular matchups. The Warriors are 44-11 when Curry plays.

And when it wasn't Looney, it was usually Stephen Curry. I want to see so many threes made I'd like the Warriors to think the Rockets are putting on their own 4th of July presentation two months early! The concern is if Curry just had an off night, or if he's still feeling the effects of his knee injury. On defense, he doesn't have the lateral explosiveness to stay with someone like Harden. We play a calm steady game, look for a good shot and play good D every time down.

"Houston, they never stop", Durant said.

Not to go to far in the detail with the simile that I used to describe their opponent but that's exactly what they did. He picked them off one by one. P.J. Tucker missed all three of his shots and Trevor Ariza was in foul trouble. He calmly shot over them and landed another swish.

Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni was impressed with what Durant was doing on the court too, as he said: "He's one of the best scorers ever". While he only had one official turnover he got baited into pounding the ball into the floor on many occasions and forcing up bad shots on others.

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