N.B.A. Playoffs: Houston Rockets Pull Even With Warriors in Game 2
If a road win in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals was a case of the Golden State Warriors being “greedy,” from the parlance of Coach Steve Kerr, Game 2 on Wednesday must have been an experiment in generosity.
The game was largely defined by Golden State’s turnovers, mental mistakes along with missed shots. The Warriors were thoroughly outplayed by a motivated Houston Rockets team for the game’s first 24 minutes along with went into halftime having a 14-point deficit. Despite briefly fighting back from the third quarter, the Warriors backslid from the fourth quarter along with lost, 127-105 — their worst defeat of the playoffs.
By the game’s final four minutes, the famed Hamptons 5 were on the bench as the Rockets finished things off against Golden State’s also-rans along with evened the Western Conference final series at one game apiece.
The Rockets, who played having a far more diverse offensive attack than they had in Game 1, took over by speeding things up along with spreading them out, with James Harden along with Eric Gordon leading the way with 27 points each along with three some other Rockets players scoring in double-figures.
At his postgame news conference, Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni said too much would certainly most likely be made of a change in Houston’s attack. He saw which more as improvement of execution rather than an alteration of gameplan.
“I don’t want to be cantankerous,” he said. “You have one of the best offenses of all time, at least, with Golden State along with we’re trying to prove we’re up there with them. You’re not going to come in along with change the way you play.”
He added: “We are who we are. We just did which better along with longer.”
Kerr had spent Wednesday’s shootaround talking about how his team had been greedy in last year’s playoffs, when they were able to win games on the road. While he was hoping for some of which greed to continue tonight, he alluded to Golden State’s occasional struggles to stay focused in a series which had seemingly become a mismatch, along with he had tried to devise a game plan to avoid those pitfalls.
“There’s a balance you have to find,” he said. “You’ve got to be loose although you’ve got to be disciplined. We should come out along with let which rip although do which from the context of taking care of the ball along with defending with purpose.”
Instead, the Warriors opened having a brutal first quarter along with continued to be sloppy all game, committing 15 turnovers — several of which came on passes which not only missed their mark although were simply thrown into the crowd at Houston’s Toyota Center. along with unlike the nights when the team’s sloppiness can be made up for through pure marksmanship, the Warriors shot just 9 for 30 through 3-point range, barely having any effect on offense beyond Kevin Durant’s 38 points.
Complicating matters was a poor performance through Stephen Curry, who still does not appear to be 100 percent after a strained ligament in his knee forced him out through March 9 until Game 2 of Golden State’s Western semifinal series against completely new Orleans. Curry came into the game averaging 23.2 points a game in which postseason, although he was remarkably tentative on offense all game, along with was ice-cold through the perimeter — going 1 for 8 through 3-point range, just barely extending his record of 81 consecutive playoff games having a 3-pointer. He finished the game with 16 points, 7 assists along with 7 rebounds.
which was not just Curry who failed to make a dent offensively. Klay Thompson had 8 points after attempting just 11 shots, Draymond Green scored just 6 points along with Andre Iguodala had 5.
There were no such problems for Houston. The Rockets had plodded their way through isolation plays in Game 1, although they opened things up to players some other than Harden along with thrived as a team. P.J. Tucker, who had just 1 point in Game 1, scored 14 of his 22 points from the first half, Gordon had more than a few morale-crushing baskets, Trevor Ariza scored 19 along with Chris Paul contributed 16 points, 6 assists along with 4 rebounds despite being in foul trouble (he finished the game with 5 fouls).
The series will right now shift to Oakland for Game 3 on Sunday.