After the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports gambling Monday, Warriors' coach Steve Kerr was asked what he thought of the Warriors being underdogs according to Las Vegas odds in Game 1 of the team's Western Conference Finals series against Houston. As terrific as James Harden has been in the regular season-he's about to get his third top-two MVP finish in four years-he simply hasn't gotten the job done when it matters most. They worked their collective tails off to get here, to finish the season with the best record in the sport (67-15).
All of that, however, probably won't be enough for them to get by Golden State.
Since the Golden State Warriors started their four-year run of post-season appearances, demand has steadily grown.
"We're all in this together", said Harden, who was 14-of-24 from the floor and 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Game 2 will be in Houston Wednesday, May 16, at 9:00 PM EST.
Offensively, there's no one better. Houston's Chris Paul had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists, and Capela had 12 points and six rebounds. The Warriors shot 52.5 percent and hit 13 3-pointers on the road, despite Curry not having his best game. Capela was solid and Eric Gordon had a few nice scoring spurts, but the Rockets' other role players were mostly very bad.
P.J. Tucker followed up a 19-point effort in the series finale against Utah with a single-point. Looney was game, but Harden victimized him several times. There was also the chippiness you'd expect between two good teams that don't particularly care for each other. And once they added the overkill of Kevin Durant, the Warriors became a the juggernaut of juggernauts.
After one game, it's already apparent that this style isn't sustainable to beat the Warriors. There is so much ridiculous talent on both sides, and there are countless different ways you can see it playing out.
Durant drilled crossover pullups like they were uncontested layups, unbothered by any defender, for a team-high 37 points.
Golden State and Houston headed into halftime tied at 56.
But then the Warriors did what they have done all season long-controlled the second half.
But the inevitability of the Golden State Warriors took hold as Game 1 wore on, resulting in a 119-106 victory for the defending champions. If Houston is going to have any chance of winning this one, the rest of the roster will have to show up.
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