◼️ James Harden scored 41 points but could not avoid Houston’s loss in Game 1 of the Western Finals.
Golden State Warriors defeated the Rockets 119-106 in Houston and advanced 1-0 in the NBA Western Conference Final.
The current champions, thanks to a masterful performance of Kevin Durant and a spectacular third quarter, achieved the first victory away from his fief, now putting all the pressure on the Texans.
“I’ve tried to be aggressive, score, take advantage of the pairing switches and try to create something, I’m better when I do that,” Durant said after the match.
The Rockets, the league’s best team in the regular season, lost the field advantage in the first Conference Final in Chris Paul’s career. And that they started in the way dreamed, with a partial 9-2, with nine goals from his top figure, James Harden.
Those of Steve Kerr, on the other hand, formed with their ‘quintet of the death’, with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, but they were surprised by the success scoring of the premises at the beginning of the shock.
However, little by little they got closer. Curry was growing and Durant was unstoppable to leave only one down at the end of the first quarter (30-29). Golden State took advantage for the first time in the middle of the second period (35-33), in which equality was absolute, with a score of 56-56 at halftime.
Durant (17), Thompson (12) and Curry (9) combined for 38 points while the local star pair, with Harden (24) and Paul (11), left with 35.
But in the third quarter, everything changed. Trevor Ariza committed his fifth foul and Durant raised his game even more, with 13 units in those 12 minutes. Nobody was able to stop it. Mike D’Antoni threw several defenders but the ex-Oklahoma beat all of them, in a demonstration that losing concentration for a few seconds against these Warriors is final.
Golden State then signed a success rate of more than 60% at the launch, a figure that can not be underestimated, especially if its rivals score only two points in almost five minutes. Still, the Rockets managed to seal an 8-0 run to end the period ‘only’ seven down (31-24).
With Durant and Curry in the bank, Klay was in charge of directing the offense of his own, demonstrating that he is capable of leading the Warriors when they need it. With several triples, he even managed to increase the income of visitors to 13 units, the maximum until that time.
From there, Golden State was able to preserve its advantage and add the first triumph of a series with an anticipated final scent between two of the best attacks in the history of the competition.
Durant finished with 37 points, Klay Thompson with 28 and Curry with 18, while for the Rockets Harden did with 41 and Paul with 23 but only Eric Gordon from the bench, with 15, accompanied them. The second game will be played on Wednesday, again in Houston.