Western Conference Final: Game 7
Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
Series: Tied 3-3
9 pm ET | TV: TNT
The Rockets look like they've walked into the locker room, noting that they're 24 minutes from the NBA finals and completely freaked out.
In the third quarter, Houston launched 2 for 10 minutes from the field and made some bad decisions. This has allowed Golden State, although she herself did not look very good, to start withdrawing into this game.
Nevertheless, the Rockets lead 59-53 as we are near the mid-term mark of the third.
The Hybris of Golden State Appear
With the Warriors' season in the first half of Game 7, Houston had a half-time break of 54:43 – despite missing Chris Paul for the biggest game of the season.
Golden State went 3-8 off the line (with all eight shots by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson), committed 10 turnovers and allowed Houston to grab 11 offensive rebounds. To top it off, the Warriors – for the second time in the series – allowed the Rockets to land in less than five seconds from coast to coast in less than five seconds.
Simply put, it was embarrassing level of effort by Golden State.
The Warriors were the NBA's best team in the third quarter for four consecutive years and with a significant lead. It will take one of these third quarters to extend their season. Otherwise, Golden States season will soon end.
Golden State begins to find some separation by raising the pace resulting in a Shaun Livingston Dunk, a Draymond Green Layup and a Kevin Durant Three
The problem for Golden State is that Houston answers with three. With Eric Gordon getting hot and Gerald Green punching a trey, the Rockets have maintained an 11-point lead for the second-trimime midfielder.
The following six minutes (well, technically 5:50) will be crucial. Golden State would like to make a move here and have this game within five minutes of the break. Houston, however, hopes that this will go as a two-digit game in the break.
I wrote before the series and have repeatedly confirmed that Clint Capela has the chance to be the decisive difference Rockets
He was the difference in Game 7.
Capela has so far only four points and four rebounds, but he was a massive presence inside. His greatness has made it difficult for Golden State to successfully capture defensive rebounds, while his threat to James Harden's praise led to a dunk only to make it Houston 34-23 early in the second.
James Harden went 4 for 6, including 2 for 2 of 3, and scored 14 points in the first quarter.
The rest of the Rockets went 3 for 16 and scored 10 points.
It will not do it for Houston. Yes, the Rockets lead 24:19, but the lead could and should be much bigger.
Golden State is getting hot and is starting to fire. It must have the priority to bring the warriors in as big a hole as possible, if you have the chance.
The Rockets had a 15-9 lead after Clint Capela survived a 7:05 heat from Eric Gordon. The first quarter and the crowd here at Toyota Center flew in the celebration.
Then the Rockets missed seven straight shots in the next 2 minutes 38 seconds, plus a pair of free throws by Clint Capela. And instead of opening a game, the Warriors plunged in, Golden State could actually get stuck there and, after a three by Kevin Durant, stay the Trail 18-14 with 4:02 in the first.
That felt like a missed opportunity for Houston to extend the lead and really get Golden State, who already plays without Klay Thompson because he has three fouls and feels uncomfortable.
In less than four minutes we have our first big moment of Game 7
Klay Thompson, Golden States Star Shooting Guard, has already gotten in terrible trouble after hitting his third at 8:21 am from the first when he was caught on a James Harden Pump fake and put the alleged MVP on a three-pointer.
To make matters worse for Thompson, Harden made the shoot. And then Eric Gordon did one thing. And then Gordon put Shaun Livingston in a blender and met Clint Capela for a dunk.
Suddenly Houston got up at 3 to 9 pm and the crowd here at the Toyota Center is in the game. That's exactly the kind of start Houston needed to overcome the excitement.
It's a dream start for Houston here in the first quarter of Game 7.
After there were many complaints about an unfair whistle The Rockets in Game 6 back in Oakland, the Rockets have four fouls – including two on Klay Thompson – pulled in the first 72 seconds of the biggest game of the season.
If there is a tight whistle tonight, that's 100 percent in favor of Houston. We will see if this stays that way.
The Injury News, which all expected to come down [Game] before Game 7, did so officially: Andre Iguodala stays out for the Warriors and Chris Paul is on the road for the Rockets.
There was no tension with Iguodala as the Golden State had barred him on Monday morning due to bone squeezing in his left knee. There was something more with Paul – but only because Paul did not want to admit that he would not play to the last minute.
In the face of his thigh strain, the strain was so serious when it happened at the last minute of Game 5 he was unable to play the court back to play defense, the idea that he would play again in four days would, was never realistic.
"Everyone came to the same conclusion," said Rocket's coach Mike D "Antoni." There's just no way. "
" He just could not explode, he could not take it off. Not good. I knew it was a long shot from [the injury]. But [we’ve] just has to take care of it.
The task in front of the Rockets is monumental – but not insurmountable – if Houston can upset a group of threes (think 20 or more), or turn it into a sloppy game that's running short in the last few minutes, the Rockets have the firepower (no pun intended) to win this game.
There's also the question of the Golden State, which does not come out of the second gear all season, it has not caught up with them yet see if it's tonight.
The Golden State Warriors have spent eight months in an eternal state of denial.
With a roster of four All-Stars in their primes – and probably one day went to the Hall of Fame – in a league in which no other team has more than two, Golden State should go into this season and romp to a championship like last season.
The problem was Golden State had the gle expectation.
Rather than attack this season with the same hunger as in previous years, when they won 67, 73 and 67 regular season games and two championships in three seasons, the Warriors were arguably the most disappointing 58-win campaign in the NBA history, through the moves during the regular season and even through the first 16 games of this playoff.
Now, the Warriors find themselves in the position of being unwell: leaving for a game 7 here at the Toyota Center against the Houston R They have led the NBA with 65 victories this season.
The Warriors have taken a break that they honestly did not deserve when Chris Paul suffered a thigh strain in the final minute of Houston's win here in Game 5. Explain that you are in an extremely strong position to win this game even though it is on the road. Essentially, the Rockets are playing six guys – and really only five, as both Gerald Green and Luc Mbah a Moute play just a handful of minutes off the bench – and should not have enough talent to compete with Golden State without one of their two allies. Star guards are available.
But Golden State should not be in that position where a high variance game could end its season and stop its hunt for a second straight title before the championship round. Houston is more than capable of beating 20 or more threes in a game – that's what it looked like in the first quarter of Game 6, when the Rockets scored 39 points and jumped to 17 points.
Houston was subsequently closed, scoring 47 points in the last three quarters (including 25 in the second and nine in the fourth). But with a home crowd behind the Rockets tonight, they'll be able to get off to a hot start on Saturday night at the Oracle Arena.
Nevertheless, this game – as so often this season – will come to Golden The level of energy and focus of the state. If the Warriors play as they should, moving the ball while avoiding the offensive ball losses in the last three quarters of Game 6 and doing the kind of good defensive play, as opposed to the disaster they were on the first defensive, should they win this game go away.
But if they do not – if they allow the Rockets to go out of the three-point range and get their hometown crowd behind them, and go into the fourth quarter in a close game – the Golden State season could be very light in a few short hours to end.
And if so, then there will be a reason for it: the hubris of the warriors will eventually catch up with them.
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