Durant, Thompson power Warriors over Rockets in NBA playoffs

Via @DefPenHoops

Via @DefPenHoops

When the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets Western Conference Finals series kicks off on Monday, the Rockets will hold an advantage over the Warriors that no team over the past four years has enjoyed - home-court advantage. They had to face a red-hot Kevin Durant. Clint Capella added another 12 points and Eric Gordon chipped in 15 off the bench.

Kerr said the Warriors wanted to acquire Durant after they lost to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals because of his ability to take over a game offensively. The Rockets can't beat them. The problem is, contested twos are too easy for Durant when he's shooting over smaller defenders or creating space against slow-footed bigs.

"It's nice to have home court", D'Antoni said. Both teams relentlessly hunted for mismatches in nearly comical fashion.

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Harden scored the last of his 24 first-half points on a fast-break dunk but Golden State's Nick Young answered with his third 3-pointer of the half to lift the Warriors level 56-56 at half-time.

The Rockets struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm, finishing with 16 turnovers to undermine their best efforts. Mostly though, there was Kevin Durant and James Harden. Houston has been looking towards this series all season long. This seems like a correctable issue moving forward-Harden and Paul essentially need to make quicker decisions.

With Golden State featuring their usual brand of ferocious half-court defence, the Rockets didn't have almost enough firepower. Role players tend to shoot worse on the road, which makes this loss that much harder to swallow. Barely one minute into Game 1 between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green was hit with a technical foul for shoving James Harden under the Rockets basket. 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! He still scored 12 points, but Houston couldn't collapse the defense as well as it has earlier in these playoffs. The Warriors hit just as many threes as the Rockets (in four fewer shots). "They got a lot of biting". There were shoving matches, coaching moves and counter-moves, seven ties and five lead changes in a game the Warriors won 119-106. Trevor Ariza and P.J. Tucker combined for nine points in the first game. Curry missed his first free throw of the playoffs in the third quarter after making all 19 attempts in the first two rounds. Curry looks fully recovered from his recent knee injury - when he's shooting the ball. The result of their regular season series with the Rockets (2-1, Houston) didn't matter. Different players may or may not end up going off as the series progresses.

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