The unusual suspects and desperation have changed the face of the Western Conference finals between heavily-favored Golden State and regular season kings Houston. Golden State did their usual in Game 1 and folks started making travel plans for the NBA finals.
And why not? If all things remained the same in this series, meaning Golden State continued to spread the wealth and stay hot from three and basically outscore the Rockets while James Harden dominated Houstons offense with little concern for other scoring options, then those who predicted a sweep for Golden State would probably still be good money.
On Wednesday, Houston took advantage of poor shooting by everyone on Golden State with the exception of Kevin Durant (38 points). A couple of guys not named The Beard or CP3 stepped up and flexed some playoff moxy in leading Houston to a 127-105 win to tie the WCF series at 1-1.
Trevor Ariza had 19 points and unheralded PJ Tucker contributed a career playoff-high 22 points and the tandem shot 6-of-9 from three-point land, outshooting the Splash Brothers who converted just 3-of-12 three-point attempts.
That boy cold ain’t he?!” P.J. Tucker stops by the desk after his playoff career-high and #Rockets dub! #InsideTheNBA https://t.co/Wh999lzFOD
In fact, Durant and Steph Curry (16 points) were the only Warriors players in double-digits.
“We got outplayed the whole game … we got it handed to us,” Kerr said after the game. “You can look at it any way you want … and parcel it out, but it didn’t matter who we had out there tonight we got beat.”
Yup. Golden State got caught slippin and Houston is back in this series. Before the WCF began, I gave you the 5 Reasons Why Houston Will Beat Golden State and two of them were prominent in Wednesdays win.
It’s time for Houston to take its respect.
After Houstons Game 1 shellacking and the media and fan rush to break out the broom on Mike DAntonis squad so early in the WCF, the Rockets had no choice but to snatch Game 2.
Game 2 was all about respect. Its something that Houston cant win the series without. Golden State acted as if Houston was just another conquest in their inevitable march to the NBA title. Draymond Green basically laughed them off and Dub Nations confidence had to be sky high after Game 1– but Houston does have heart. The Rockets elevated their play and showed the trust in each other that championship teams need. The Rockets matched Golden State shot for shot with various weapons, rising and embracing the desperation of the moment — and rather convincingly.
The Rockets are 50-5 in games that James Harden, CP3, and Clint Capela play together.
The odds said Houston wouldn’t ever get swept in a seven-game series and that was proven on Wednesday. A boost of 27 points by Eric Gordon helped improve the percentages.
@TheofficialEG10 gettin’ BUCKETS! Rockets up 117-91. 5:18 https://t.co/qQwLYuZf8p
The Game 1 loss, plus the Game 2 win, makes Houston 51-6 when its “Big Three” plays together, which means they win 91% of those games. The series should still go at least six games just based on the numbers. At the same time, the Splash Brothers aren’t going to shoot 25 percent from three again, so everything will balance itself out in the end. Houston is desperate and daring to be champions. The Rockets proved that last night.