May 26, 2018

Warriors race past Rockets in Western Conference Finals opener

15 May 2018, 04:16 | Kristopher Drake

Kawakami Why the Warriors might not start the Hamptons 5 in Game 1

Kawakami Why the Warriors might not start the Hamptons 5 in Game 1

They invited the Golden State Warriors in, dared to beat the reigning National Basketball Association champions at their own game in these Western Conference finals with an emphatic win and came up woefully short of that goal in the opener.

It wasn't enough on Monday night, however, as the Rockets lost home-court advantage. Durant wasn't happy with coach Steve Kerr when he took him out in late in the third quarter and loudly asked his coach why he was putting him on the bench. "This is why anyone 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.

Starting a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014, the Warriors trailed by as many as 9 early, but had evened it up by halftime and used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull away.

'We're in the Western Conference finals, they are going to come out with a lot of energy, ' Durant said.

"In some games and some series, you make mistakes and guys don't make those shots, but tonight, every time we did it, they made the shots".

Just to be clear about what kind of armor the Warriors travel with these days, they've won a game on the road in 18 consecutive playoff series, well before the Durant era.

For a coach like Mike D'Antoni, who patented his seven seconds or less offense with the Suns, this team is the polar opposite.

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The Houston Rockets are allowing 38.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.6 rebounds per game.

Green earned his fastest technical foul in any regular-season or postseason game, picking up one with 10:53 left in the first quarter after he shoved James Harden after Harden made a layup over Durant.

With every made shot, defensive stop and foul, the Warriors and Rockets showed in 48 minutes why this became an anticipated playoff matchup for almost 10 months. "We've got this far doing that and having that mindset, so we're just going to continue with it". We can't withstand turning the ball over and giving up so many wide open threes'. Durant then scored the final six points of the third before Thompson tallied the first seven of the fourth to provide the Warriors a working margin. "They're getting dunks, they're getting threes and I'm not sure how many transition points they had but it was too many".

"This Houston team never stops".

"If that's the game plan they want to stick with, my job is just to make it as tough as possible", said Curry, who had 18 points.

Iguodala 2-3 7-8 11, Durant 14-27 6-6 37, D.Green 1-5 3-4 5, Curry 8-15 1-2 18, Thompson 9-18 4-4 28, West 1-1 0-0 2, Looney 1-1 0-0 2, Livingston 3-5 1-1 7, Young 3-5 0-0 9. Totals 39-85 15-21 106.

Green added two blocks and two steals to anchor the Golden State defense.

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