Usually it’s a story of the first half vs. the second half for teams in the playoffs. For the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets last night, it was one that went back and forth through quarters and spurts.
The main storyline going into this game was how much Dub Nation would miss Andre Iguodala, considering he was out with a knee contusion. Kevon Looney was set to start in place of the death lineup quintet.
The Warriors started out hot and had a 12-0 lead in the middle of the first quarter until the Rockets scored their first points of the game five minutes in. But then Houston battled back. In that quarter, Golden State could have doubled their lead if they would have hit all of their shots, yet they went cold for a bit and let the Rockets crawl within striking distance.
It happened again leading up to halftime when defensive plays led to transition buckets. This gave the Rockets a 7-point lead at the half.
The second half was even more wild.
Steph Curry snapped in the third quarter again, hitting shot after shot from deep and making the Oracle Arena crowd hit a state of frenzy. Kevin Durant was also out there balling, even as Klay Thompson was hit and miss from deep thanks to a knee strain he suffered earlier in the game.
On the other side of the ball, Eric Gordon was carrying the Rockets when Chris Paul and James Harden weren’t hitting their shots. Both Gordon and PJ Tucker had big games, as CP3 and The Beard carried the load.
In the fourth quarter, the Rockets crawled back to take the lead and the Warriors were scrambling to catch up. Coach Steve Kerr said the team was exhausted by the end and that contributed to their poor play.
Either way, Golden State had plenty of chances to take the lead and put their foot on their necks, but couldn’t hit their shots.
It all boiled down to the last seconds, with the Warriors down two and Harden missing a step-back shot that would have clinched the game. Golden State chose not to call timeout, played it out and saw an ugly shot by Klay Thompson go up. Draymond Green tried to call timeout, but didn’t get it.
After the game, CP3 was emotional and said that their hard work and fight was the difference on the night. Everyone grinding for victory helped them win.
Curry finished with 27 points, while KD dropped 28 and brought down 12 rebounds, but Thompson and Green only had 10 and 11 respectively.
CP3 ended the game with 27 points and Harden finished with 30. Gordon also had 14 off the bench and Tucker had a monster 16 rebound night.
The series now shifts to Houston for a huge Game 5. The Rockets now retain home court advantage and can close things out in seven games if they can win at home from here on out. The Warriors will now face a bigger challenge of getting another win on the road, with Iguodala and Thompson hobbled.
Who’s getting the next win?