Season wins leader Houston battled an entire campaign to seize a home-court edge throughout the National Basketball Association playoffs, but defending champion Golden State stole it away with a 119-106 victory Monday.
It did not take long for the Golden State Warriors to take home court advantage from the Houston Rockets [VIDEO] on Monday night.
Last week, when Warriors head coach Steve Kerr went out of his way to mention that Nick Young could be a factor against the Rockets, many took to social media to ask a singular question: Steve must be kidding, right?
"This is why anybody would want him on their team ..."
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry embraced the challenge of entering the Western Conference finals with a target on him, saying he hoped the Houston Rockets would attack him in isolation on every defensive possession.
"We've got to do a better job of taking better shots, not turning the ball over and getting back on D", Harden said.
Durant scored 17 first-half points and sparked Golden State after the Rockets played aggressively at the start, using two big runs to jump ahead only to have the Warriors overtake them by the middle of the second quarter.
Every NBA fan knew that the Western Conference Finals series between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets was always going to be an emotional affair, and Game 1 on Monday night didn't disappoint. But you can't live with that and then make mental mistakes, and that's what we do. We won one game on the road.
"You're not going to come in and just knock them out", Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said.
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While it's only Game 1 of the series, you could see that devastation on the faces and in the body language of the Rockets late in Monday's contest. We didn't get rattled.
"Everyone knows our role, everyone appreciates the moment that we've had and hopefully more to come". Due to his ball dominant ways, Paul only accounted for three more assists.
The Rockets rediscovered their offence after that, scoring the next eight points, powered by threes from Gordon and Gerald Green, to get within 85-80 with about a minute left in the quarter.
Houston ended a scoring drought of more than two minutes with a dunk by Harden seconds later and the Warriors followed with another run, scoring six straight points to extend it to 85-72 with just more than two minutes left in the third.
"This Houston team never stops". The Warriors made eight open 3-pointers, including Thompson's dagger, and shot 23-of-31 on uncontested looks overall.
"We're all in this together", said Harden, who was 14-of-24 from the floor and 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Totals 39-85 15-21 106.
Green got T'd up just a minute into Game 1 for pushing James Harden and was only able to score five points in 37 minutes, a postseason low.