The Warriors were able to outlast the Rockets 110-106.
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 110-106 in game one of the Western Conference Finals in Oakland, California. These two teams came into the series in impressive fashion with Houston coming out of a two-game deficit with three straight wins and Golden State proving themselves to be the strongest team in the league. The game proved to be far more interesting for Golden State than in their last series.
• The Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 110-106
• James Harden had an explosion when he scored 21 points in the second half
• The Warriors played on a smaller line up and the Rockets did the same
The game ended up being tied at 97-97 deep in the fourth quarter after a James Harden explosion in which he scored 21 points in the second half. Golden State were able to stick to their game and pull through using a smaller offense of wings and guards who could move fluidly in and out of position in the court. Although the Rockets were able to do the same, the Warriors showed that they have been doing it all season.
The Art of playing a small team
Known in U.S gambling news, The Golden State Warriors excellent regular season performance allowed them to be awarded home court advantage with more games playing at home than away. That being said, the Warriors still managed to get behind on their own court. This is an impressive act considering that they’ve won 42 out of 45 home games. Trailing by 16 in the second quarter, that proverbial “kick in the pants” pushed the Warriors out of the starting block.
The Warriors playing on a smaller line up, had to answer the Rockets by igniting a 25-6 scoring run tied them up at the cusp of half time. In stellar fashion, Livingston scored 10 of the last 12 points during that scoring spree. Coach Steve Kerr, a small, quick 3-point specialist who played with Michael Jordan during his last three championships, was considering the use of a smaller team.
“We feel like we can always play small. We played small against Memphis, and Memphis is without a doubt the most powerful interior team in terms of offensive post-up stuff and putting pressure on a team.” Kerr hadn’t considered playing small against a big team like Houston. During the regular season, Golden State won all four encounters with Houston by an average of 15.3 points. Kerr didn’t take that number seriously.
“To me the regular season means nothing. We haven’t seen these guys since late January. I watched all the tapes the last few days. Every lineup was different. No Prigioni, Terrence Jones was out, Dwight Howard was out, Josh Smith. So I don’t think the regular-season record or the four match-ups, I don’t think they tell us a whole lot.” He should share that with the punters who waged using online sportsbooks in the U.S.
The Rockets played with just a little less steam
The Houston Rockets also had to take on “smaller 5-man approach.” The prediction of Dwight Howards performance was always considered “suspect” by everyone. Even though before the game, Howard spoke with enthusiasm coming in but perhaps not as much conviction. Howard would have to stay out as the Rockets readjusted to a smaller line just out of necessity.
Coach Kevin McHale relied on Terrence Jones, Corey Brewer, Josh Smith in the front and James Harden and Trevor Ariza in the back. Harden tends to play like a bigger player. The combinations allowed Houston to move around the court “position free” relying more on their athleticism. The only downside to this is that three of the five are sub-par shooters who may get tired before their shots go in.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, the Warriors small team is equipped with good shooters and can easily go back to defense effectively. The Rockets were able to imitate this still with a degree of accuracy until the last moments of the game. NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry had 34 points including six from 3-point range. He’s was fined USD 5,000 for exaggerating a fall after making a shot in order to force contact and get a free throw.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors were up 108-97 and the Rockets were able get within five until Trevor Ariza managed to steal the ball and bring it back up the court for a three pointer creating a 2-point deficit. Harden was able to pull out 28 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. Howard, who might be out the entire series said of Harden “he was unbelievable. He did all he could do.” Whatever side you may want to wage on, by U.S gambling rules, you’re in for a wild ride.