Warriors get their payback from Houston’s ‘mental’ mistakes

Agence France-Presse
Warriors get their payback from Houston’s ‘mental’ mistakes
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni puts emphasis on becoming mentally sharper to beat the championship-experienced Warriors

WASHINGTON, USA – The Houston Rockets thought that they had it their way at the start of the game  on Monday, May 14 (Tuesday, Manila time), as they held a double-digit lead in the first quarter. 

However, the Golden State Warriors battled back, taking their first lead of the game at 35-33 on David West’s layup 2:57 into the second quarter. After the back-and-forth action that lasted until haftime, the Rockets failed to regroup for the lethal defending champions. 

“Every time we made a mistake they made us pay,” Paul said. “Some of it was breakdowns, things we can clean up and do better. We have to communicate better.”

Chris Paul had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who fell behind in the 3rd period and couldn’t catch up in the 4th.

The NBA finals contenders were also in deep foul trouble when small forward Trevor Ariza picked up his 5th personal foul in the 9:35 mark of the 3rd quarter. Paul, NBA scoring champion James Harden and impact substitute Gerald Green had 4 fouls each at the end of the game.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni puts emphasis of becoming mentally sharper to beat the championship-experienced Warriors. 

“We can do a little better job against them mentally,” D’Antoni said. “They are champions for a reason. If we want to beat them we have to be mentally sharp.

“KD was on. We can live with that. But we can’t have that and mental mistakes.”

Kevin Durant who scored 17 first-half points that helped spark the Warriors’ surge in the second half of the game. 

“If we’re going to knock these guys off we have to get a better mental focus,” D’Antoni said. “We ran out of gas a little bit in different spots and they didn’t.

“It’s just a bunch of stuff we can clean up and we will. We’ll come out and attack them Wednesday.” 

The Rockets will aim to even the Western Conference finals series on Wednesday, May 16 (Thursday, Manila time). – Rappler.com



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