Warriors buck slow start to take Game 1 against Rockets

Jane Bracher

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Warriors buck slow start to take Game 1 against Rockets
The Golden State Warriors overcame an early 16-point deficit and nipped the Houston Rockets behind Steph Curry's 34 points

GOLDEN CHILD. Steph Curry scored 34 points to lead the Warriors to victory. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — The Golden State Warriors overcame an early double-digit deficit and nipped the Houston Rockets, 110-106, to take Game 1 of their best-of-7 NBA Western Conference Finals series on Wednesday, May 20 (Tuesday, May 19 in the US) in the Warriors’ homecourt Oracle Arena.

League MVP Steph Curry had a game-high 34 points on top of 6 rebounds, 5 assists and two steals while Shaun Livingston contributed 18 markers, 6 boards and 3 dimes.

The Warriors trailed by as much as 16 in the first half before going on a run to lead by 58-55 at the half. 

“I think we finally realized it was the Western Conference Finals,” Golden State head coach Steve Kerr explained what changed for his team defensively since their lackluster first quarter.  

“Sometimes in Game 1 there’s a feeling out process and Houston did not have that process. We took a quarter and a half to get to that defensively.”


Golden State had a scare late as Trevor Ariza, who finished with 20 points for the Rockets, knocked down an open three-pointer to chop a once 11-point Warriors lead to just 108-106 with 14.6 left.  

But Curry calmly buried the game-clinching free throws after he was fouled in the ensuing possession for the final tally. 

Harrison Barnes, who sparked a 9-0 run late in the fourth that allowed the Warriors some cushion, added 14 points. Draymond Green posted an all-around game of 13 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and two steals. 

Klay Thompson was relatively quiet from three-point land going one-of-7 from that distance but still finished with 15 points and 4 assists.

MVP runner-up James Harden, who impressed with difficult moves and gave Klay Thompson much difficulty defending, had a near-triple double night with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. 

Josh Smith had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. 

Big man Dwight Howard missed most of the game after getting hit in the knee in the first quarter.  

Howard reportedly suffered a bruised left knee, returning briefly but sat out the entire fourth quarter. He finished with 7 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes of play. — Rappler.com

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