Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Observations from Game 1 of the WCF

Observations from Game 1 of the WCF

The Houston Rockets believe they can beat the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors looked like every bit the juggernaut they've been for the past four years on Monday night, stealing homecourt with a 119-106 win over the Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. He finished with 37 points on 14-of-27 shooting to lead the Warriors.

With Durant still on the bench, Thompson more than carried the load to start the quarter, scoring eight points - including two 3s - in the first three minutes.

Houston used a 9-3 spurt, where James Harden scored five, to cut the lead to 103-96 with less than five minutes to go. I'd like to see the pace picked up with the team hitting their threes - they were quite solid going 13-for-33 at a 39.3 percent clip - and the Warriors matched the amount of threes made but took a few more going 13-for-37 at a 35.1 percent clip. Home court, all the fans loud and pumped up for the game, and the opportunity to make a statement to the Warriors that this series is going to be a pain in the ass. Golden State also had a lot of success picking on Harden's defense, which will be a theme all series.

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The Rockets struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm, finishing with 16 turnovers to undermine their best efforts. If we want to beat them we have to be mentally sharp. "They went on a quick run but he came back in and got us on track again".

"Houston, they never stop", Durant said.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston. "I'll take that and live with the results". Thompson also recovered a loose ball, and hit a near-dagger 3-pointer to give Golden State a 10 point lead with 3:55 remaining.

Such was the case Monday night at the Toyota Center.

No one said it would be easy.

"With the right amount of fear and the right amount of confidence, obviously we're the underdog", he said. They are always in the game with 3-point shots.

The Rockets are especially determined to attack Curry, who missed six weeks because of a sprained MCL in his left knee before returning for Game 2 of the second round. We've got to do a better job of not turning the basketball over, taking better shots and getting back and matching up - there were a couple of times where we didn't guard anybody and they got a dunk or an open three. Chris Paul is probably the NBA's second-best point guard, but he's a tier below Curry, who's won two MVP awards since 2015. According to NBA.com stats, Harden led the league with 877 points off isolations during the regular season, with Cleveland's LeBron James (500) the only player who scored even half as many points on such plays.

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