Photo credit: @warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors, using the Hampton’s Five lineup for the second game in a row, held on to beat the Houston Rockets 115-109.
The Warriors led from start to finish. They caused the Rockets to commit 13 turnovers in the first half, and they put 20 points on the board as a result. The Rockets, to their credit, stayed close as they made 10 three-pointers in the first half. The Warriors made just four.
Steph Curry had to leave the game in the second quarter when he injured his left hand trying to swat a shot attempt by Clint Capela. Curry went to the locker room for an x-ray and treatment. Nothing was broken, but he dislocated his middle finger on his left hand. Curry returned to action but appeared to be having trouble shooting the basketball as two fingers on his left hand were taped. James Harden also went to the locker room for treatment. Harden was struck in his left eye by Draymond Green. There was no foul on the play, and Draymond talked to Harden telling him that it was not intentional. Harden returned later after having some difficulty with his vision.
The Warriors won the first quarter 29-20. They were playing defense, and the offense was percolating. The Rockets played the Warriors even in the second quarter. Austin Rivers, filling in for Harden, kept the Rockets in the game as he knocked down three threes and finished the first half with 11. Clint Capela played much better Tuesday night. He ended the first half with seven points and seven rebounds.
The Warriors led by nine 58-49 at the end of the first half. The Rockets made 10 threes good for 30 points and kept themselves in the game.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 13 points. Kevin Durant had 12 points, Draymond Green had seven points and seven boards, Steph Curry had 10 points, and Andre Iguodala had 10 points.
James Harden led the Rockets with 12 points. Chris Paul had eight points, P.J. Tucker had six points, and Eric Gordon, who scored 27 on Sunday, was held to two points.
In the third quarter, the Rockets outscored the Warriorss 26-24 to finish the quarter trailing by seven 82-75. The Rockets trailed by 15 until they went on an 8-0 run at the end of the period. The Rockets cut the lead to four 84-80, but Shaun Livingston came through with two clutch baskets and the Warriors led 88-80.
The Rockets kept coming back. They trailed 93-90, but Steph Curry hit a three and Andre Iguodala followed with a bucket. Klay Thompson also hit a deuce, and the Warriors led 100-90 with 4:45 left to play. The Warriorss increased the lead to 12 104-92 as they went on an 11-2 run. James Harden refused to quit. Harden’s eye was bothering him all night long, but he kept attacking. He continued to drive the lane, and when he was bottled up, he tried to make a three-point shot. The Warriors were able to hang on to beat the Rockets by a final of 115-109.
Game Notes: All five Warrior starters were in double figures. Draymond Green had a double-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. Kevin Durant led the team with 29. Durant made three threes in seven tries. Klay Thompson had 21. Thompson also made three threes. Thompson made two threes in a row in the third quarter that helped the Warriors maintain their lead. Steph Curry finished with 20. Curry also made three threes and was 3 for 13 in that department. Andre Iguodala tallied 16 and helped out with two threes.
James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points. Chris Paul had 18 points, Eric Gordon had 15 points, Clint Capela had 14 points and P.J.Tucker had 13 points. The Rockets committed four turnovers in the second half.
The team stats looked like this: The Rockets were 36 for 77 from the floor. The Warriors took 14 more shots and were 42 for 91. The Rockets made 17 threes. The Warriors made 11. The Warriors outrebounded the Rockets 46-41 and had 18 offensive boards while Houston’s total was 10. The Warriors had 10 steals and five blocked shots.
The referees did an outstanding job Tuesday night, and neither team appeared to criticize the crew that worked Game 2 of the series.
Up Next: Game 3 of the best of seven series will be played in Houston on Saturday. Game time will be at 5:30 pm. The three-day layoff will give the players a chance to get some rest after the grueling first two games of the series.