NBA: Warriors Draw First Blood in West Finals

NBA NBA fans were treated to a showdown between two of the league’s most offensively potent teams. The Warriors-Rockets series in the Western Conference finals has been a highly anticipated matchup in the NBA playoffs. Game 1 went the way of the Golden State Warriors as they surged past the Houston Rockets in the second half to win 119-106.

As expected from an emotionally charged game such as this one, Draymond Green set the tone with some physicality as he was called for a technical foul after shoving Houston’s James Harden.

Fueled by a burning desire to be crowned the best team in the West and to punch a ticket to the NBA Finals, both teams delivered as expected. The action went back-and-forth as both squads traded baskets, whether from short-range or from beyond the 3-point arc.

In the second half, the Warriors proved to be the more consistent team, finding the rim when open shots presented themselves, while the Rockets dipped into the well of low-percentage shots far too often for comfort. Then again, no one would expect anything less. They are a team whose style of play is meant to live by the three or die by the three. It was close though, with both the Rockets and Warriors making 13 triples each. The Warriors were simply the more accurate and efficient team when it came to the execution of their offense and that was the foundation of this Game-1 victory.

James Harden led all scorers with 41 points and seven dimes, but not even his heroics on scoreboard could lift his team. Chris Paul chimed in with a 23-point, 11-rebound double-double.

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant was near-unstoppable with 37 points of his own. Klay Thompson added 28 points and six treys, while Stephen Curry dropped 18 points and eight assists. Draymond Green put up a well-rounded effort on the defensive end of the floor with nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

The win shifts the homecourt edge to the Warriors as they head home to the Oracle Arena for Game 2. The Rockets will need more out of Cint Capela, who was relatively quiet with 12 points and six boards. If he can force a double team on him in the low post, his teammates will get better looks from long-range. Can the Rockets take their own road win to even the series? They have the tools. They will just have to make sure they are able to execute and assert their game plan.

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