The Houston Rockets may have silenced many critics by defeating the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle in Oakland 95-92 on Tuesday night. The Rockets were written off by many after the Game 3 blowout by 41 points at the Oracle on Sunday night. They came out and took the Warriors knock out punch by overcoming a flurry by Steph Curry in the third quarter (14 points) and a double digit deficient in the fourth quarter. This was a Rockets team that has yet to be battle tested up until this point, we can't say that about this team anymore.
Photo By: CBS Sports
James Harden and Chris Paul the unquestioned leaders galvanized their team and gave them belief that they could do it. Those two showed why they came together last summer for moments like this where they undoubtedly needed each other and now they'll go back to Houston with an even series.
Harden and Paul combined for 57 points and 8 of the team's 12 three's. They both competed on both ends fighting through screens and making things tough for the Warriors playmakers even though Curry, Durant, and Thompson made shots they felt the defensive pressure from the Rockets players.
The Rockets were a plus 10 from the free throw line (23-13). They didn't have a great night distributing the basketball (12 assist) but they made up for it by holding the Warriors to just 14.
Photo By: USA Today
The Warriors had many reasons they believed going into the 4th quarter that they would be heading back to Houston up 3-1. They had a crowd they were feeding off of and Steph Curry leading the way but were not able to close. They did all this despite being without forward Andre Igoudala who did not suit up due to a knee contusion in Game 3.
Steph Curry and Kevin Durant took a combined 50 shots making 19 of them for 55 points. Some would argue they tried to played hero ball late in the game instead of moving the ball like their accustom to doing. Klay Thompson who went out in 2nd after a hard fall finished with 10 points on 4-13 shooting and wasn't quite the same with him lift on his shot or his lateral movement.
The Warriors now travel back to the Toyota Center for a best of three. The Rockets now may seem to have all the confidence heading back home, but is it a must win for them? Well we said that in before Game 4 but now this team is battled tested.
Game 5: Thursday 5/24 6:00 PT