The Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets on Monday night, 101-92, to advance to their fourth straight NBA Finals. Golden State will move on to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals for the fourth straight year.
Golden State Warriors Win Game 7 of Western Conference Finals, Advance to Fourth Straight NBA Finals
Klay’s Early Foul Trouble
One of Golden State’s four All-Stars, Klay Thompson, picked up three fouls in the game’s first four minutes while guarding James Harden. That forced Warriors coach Steve Kerr to go to his bench early, which was especially thin with swingman Andre Iguodala out due to injury. After scoring 35 points (on 9-14 three-pointers) in Game 6, Thompson was nearly non-existent Monday night.
Harden Scores 14, Rockets Lead After One
James Harden scored 14 points (4-6 field goals, 4-5 free throws) in the first quarter. The Rockets led 24-19 at the end of the period. Both teams were sloppy early on, with Houston racking up five turnovers and Golden State coughing up six in the quarter.
Rockets Control Interior in Second Quarter, Lead 54-43 At Halftime
The Rockets started the second quarter hot, ballooning their five-point lead to 15 with less than five minutes left in the period. Golden State made a small push, but Houston maintained an 11-point lead at halftime with a score of 54-43. The Rockets outrebounded the Warriors 26-17 in the half, including 11-5 on the offensive glass. P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela combined for eight offensive rebounds in the half, helping the Rockets score 30 points in the paint, compared to Golden State’s 14. Eric Gordon scored 14 in the half, including a running shot to beat the second quarter buzzer:
The Warriors really let Eric Gordon go coast to coast in 4 seconds for that buzzer beater….damn pic.twitter.com/JA4whJR58i
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 29, 2018
Third Quarter: Warriors Take Over
The Warriors dominated the third, outscoring Houston 33-15 to take a seven-point lead heading into the final frame. After a quiet first half, Stephen Curry erupted for 14 points in the third, while Kevin Durant scored 10. Despite still outscoring Golden State in the paint, the Rockets struggled offensively, shooting 0-14 on three-pointers in the period. Houston was a horrific 6-37 from deep after three quarters.
Warriors Pull Away in Fourth to Win
Curry and Durant continued their scoring barrage in the fourth, leading the Warriors to cap off a 101-92 victory. Durant finished with 32 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Curry was equally brilliant, scoring 27 to go along with nine rebounds, 10 assists, and four steals. Harden finished with 32 points in the loss. As a team, the Rockets shot a ghastly 7-44 (16 percent) from downtown.
Loss of CP3 Hurts Houston
Rockets star Chris Paul was ruled out of the game due to a right hamstring injury that he suffered late in Game 5 of the series. Paul missed Houston’s Game 6 loss in Oakland and, despite wanting to return, he was simply too banged up to play in what would’ve been the most important game of his career. Paul might’ve made a huge difference in this game, considering Houston’s struggles to create and make shots in the second half.
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