"You think about a couple of years ago, in the finals, we couldn't quite get over the hump", Kerr said. Both Curry and James Harden were routinely sought out on the defensive end, but the strategy most often favored the Warriors. The Rockets are perhaps the best-suited team in the National Basketball Association to match up with the "Death lineup", but the Warriors would be in a golden position to take control of the series.
"Houston, they never stop", Durant said. But Golden State used an extended run in the third quarter to take a 13-point lead with two minutes, 23 seconds remaining in the period.
The top-seeded Rockets put so much effort into winning 65 games in the regular season to get home-court advantage, and the defending champions immediately made that not matter with the convincing double-digit victory.
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Kevin Durant was ruthless.
Kevin Durant paced the Golden State Warriors on Monday, dropping in 37 points, three rebounds, one assist, and one block in 40 minutes. Golden State went to KD over and over on the block, and he knocked down a bunch of tough jumpers en route to 37 points on 14-of-27 shooting.
Game 1 promises to be fascinating match-up with, and here's how you can follow it live. When the Rockets had the ball, they worked hard to funnel Harden into particular matchups.
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Insane enough, Durant only had three rebounds, one assist and a block. More importantly, they picked apart the lapses in the Rockets switching defense - and there were plenty, more and more as the game wore on and players got exhausted. He constantly hunted out switches, with Curry and Kevon Looney the usual targets. "He can shoot over anybody, so we've got to do a better job of being physical".
Golden State and Houston headed into half-time tied at 56.
The Houston Rockets are a team for a reason and although James Harden is the most important ingredient, the contents should not be spilled all over the place in hopes of putting together a successful concoction. The Rockets acquired Chris Paul to take pressure off Harden.
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If he's forced to miss significant time, then the Mariners will certainly have a tough time replacing his production. The Tigers' hitters have been led by third baseman Jeimer Candelario and right fielder Nicholas Castellanos .
While Paul will likely be better, there are more questions about Houston's other guys. Eric Gordon had a good bench performance of 15 points. Gerald Green's defense was torched, while Ryan Anderson and Nene were non-factors. Attacking Curry provides Harden a mismatch and it tires out Golden State's best player. But Thompson struck again, hitting a wide open 3 to leave the Warriors ahead by 10 with four minutes left. Durant's offensive output helped make-up for a quiet offensive night from Curry, who scored just 18 points on 8-15 shooting, but did add eight assists with the defense chasing him all night. A huge factor in that series -Games 5 and 7 were played in Oakland.