Rockets Rout Warriors To Even Western Conference Finals
Using a balanced attack, the Houston Rockets routed the Golden State Warriors 127-105 to even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece and rebound from a disappointing 119-106 loss in Game 1.
James Harden and Eric Gordon scored 27 points each on a night Houston had five players with 16 points or more.
The Rockets didn’t trail after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night.
P.J. Tucker added a playoff career-high 22 and Trevor Ariza had 19 as both bounced back after struggling in Game 1.
Kevin Durant had 38 points after scoring 37 in the first game, but Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for just 24 points after the pair went for 46 in Game 1.
Houston couldn’t contain Durant but held Thompson and Curry to shooting just 3 of 12 from three-point range.
The Warriors made three free throws to get within 11 early in the fourth quarter before the Rockets scored the next 11 points, to make it 111-89 with less than seven minutes to play.
Durant made a basket after that, but Houston scored the next eight points to extend the lead to 119-91 with about five minutes left.
Gordon came off the bench to make six 3-pointers, Tucker tied a playoff best with five and Harden added three.
Houston avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time this postseason and the Warriors lost in the second game of a playoff series for the first time since the 2015 NBA Finals, snapping a 10-game winning streak in such games.
Houston led by as many as 19 in the first half and was up 64-50 at halftime. The Warriors cut it to 74-64 with five quick points from Durant, but the Rockets opened it back up to 89-72.
The Rockets were up by 16 to start the fourth quarter but Golden State got within 98-86 with about 10 minutes left. Curry had five points in that span, including his first 3 after missing his first six attempts of the night.
The series now moves to Oakland for the next two games. Game 3 is on Sunday night, and Game 4 on Tuesday night before returning to Houston for Game 5 on Thursday.