The Houston Rockets made the silly mistake of pissing off Stephen Curry before the game had even started Tuesday night, sending out rookie Nick Johnson—instead of James Harden and/or Dwight Howard—for the traditional captains’ meeting at halfcourt.
The MVP proceeded to torch Houston to the tune of 34 points in the Golden State Warriors’ 110-106 victory to open up the Western Conference Finals.
Four other Warriors scored in double-figures in the series opener.
Per the SF Chronicle:
The Warriors didn’t panic when they fell behind by 16 points in the second quarter. They didn’t panic when they nearly blew an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead, either. The simply rose to the occasion of their deepest playoff run since 1976 and found a way to sneak away with a 110-106 Game 1 victory over the Rockets in front of the 129th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
After going up 108-97 on a Stephen Curry layup with 2:01 remaining, the Warriors allowed Houston to reel off the game’s next nine points — trimming its deficit to 108-106 on a Trevor Ariza three-pointer with 14.6 seconds left. Curry made two free throws with 11.8 seconds to play for some breathing room. James Harden’s three-point shot and Jason Terry’s ensuing putback attempt each missed in the final 4.2 seconds. […] “We stayed with them,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “There’s a reason these two teams are here in the conference finals: a lot of talent and a lot of competitive desire. I thought the level of competition may have exceeded the level of execution, but that’s playoff basketball. It’s physical, it’s hard to get open shots at times, and you have to play through all that, and I thought both teams really competed hard.”
Harrison Barnes scored 14 points, his seventh straight game in double figures, and Draymond Green filled the stat sheet with 13 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the Warriors had their best runs with 6-foot-7 Green playing center. […] “Draymond is one of the best defensive players in the league, because he can guard low-post guys and perimeter guys,” Kerr said. “He can switch onto James Harden, and he can guard Dwight Howard. That doesn’t mean he’s always going to get a stop, but he’s always going to put up a fight, and he’s got a chance. The way he competes, it’s kind of nice to have him out on the floor.”