Photo By: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 127-105 on Wednesday night to even the series at one game a piece. They Rockets came into this Game 2 with a “must win” mentality and it showed from the moment they stepped on the floor. They had the crowd involved but most importantly everyone who stepped on the court for the Rockets contributed in some way. This looked like a completely different team from what was displayed in the Game 1 loss. Coach Mike Dantoni said after the Game 1 loss “where not going to change who we are” and that may have been true but the Rockets changed their approach to the defending champs and now we have a series.
Photo By: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle
The Rockets got major contributions from players who were non-existent in Game 1 and it showed up on the score board. James Harden’s 27 points (9-24 FG) was a team high but was matched by former sixth man of the year in Eric Gordon who also scored 27 points. Gordon made 6 out of the 9 three point field goals he attempted and was also able to keep the Warriors defense off balance by putting the ball on the floor and making plays for himself and others. Starting forward PJ Tucker who was mainly brought onto this team to be a defensive specialist and someone who does all the little things poured in 5 three pointers and a total of 22 points after not having a single field goal in Game 1. Trevor Ariza who found himself in foul trouble in Game 1 also contributed 19 points (7-9 fg) and a team high 6 assist with Chris Paul. Paul chipped in with 16 points and his 6 assist and was the emotional leader they needed him to be to weather every onslaught the Warriors attempted to throw at them.
The Rockets outshot the Warriors from behind the arc making 16 three’s compared to just 9 from the Warriors. They made the Warriors uncomfortable from three and it showed. The also won the rebounding category 47-36 showing their determination to go after missed shots and loose balls. Now as they head to the Oracle arena they will need an encore in Game 3 to get a win on the defending champ’s home floor.
Photo By: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group
The Warriors Kevin Durant was the only player to have a game really worth talking about. He led all scorers with 38 points on 13-22 shooting and made tough shots all night. He was the only player the Rockets had no answer defensively for as they tried multiple defenders but no one was able to show consistent resistance. Steph Curry was second on the team in scoring with a subpar 16 points but was just 1-8 from three and never really got comfortable shooting from deep. They also attacked him defensively, putting him in pick-in-rolls to get him on Paul or Harden and they tried all night to take advantage of him and it was very successful. So coach Steve Kerr will have to make some adjustments to not have Curry put in that position as often as he was.
Klay Thompson, Andre Igoudala, and Draymond Green all combined for just 19 points and just 7-20 from the field. They were not factors in this game and were nothing close to what they were in Game 1 and frustration began to set in. The Warriors now finally get to play in front of their home crowd where they are 8-0 thus far and they won’t expect the same performance.
Game 3: 5/20 Sunday 5:00 PT
Follow us on all our Social Media Channels