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NBA PLAYOFFS -- Warriors soar to 2-0 lead over Rockets


PhilBoxing.com




OAKLAND -- Led by their dreaded "death line-up," the Golden State Warriors stormed to a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinals series against bitter rivals the Houston Rockets by scoring a hard-earned 115-109 Game 2 victory on Tuesday night (Wednesday AM Manila time) at the sold-out Oracle Arena.

Two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who has been on a scoring binge the last four games, kept his streak alive and well with 29 points on 9-of-22 shooting to pace the two-time defending champions.

Splash Brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson had 43 points between them. Curry had 20 despite sustaining a dislocated finger in the opening quarter. An MRI later revealed no structural damage on the errant finger.

"He's a Warrior, all pun intended," Thompson said of his backcourt buddy who soldiered through the pain to hit three triples and give Golden State a comfortable cushion as it heads to Houston for Saturday's Game 3 of the best-of-7 series at the Toyota Center where the Rockets are unbeaten this postseason and 31-10 during the regular season.

Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala - the other two members of the Warriors' starting unit --- combined for 31 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists to help stave off the game Rockets.

Golden State shot 42 of 91 from the field (46.2 percent) and 11 of 36 from 3-point distance (30.6 percent). Houston, meanwhile, drilled 36 of 77 from the field and 17 of 40 from long range.

After a close first half where Golden State took only a narrow 59-55 advantage, the Warriors appeared to be well on their way to a blowout when Thompson drilled a 26-foot bomb that put the Rockets behind, 82-67, with just 4:15 remaining in the third quarter.

But Houston, led by reigning MVP James Harden. didn't go down easily and crawled to within 92-89 at the 7:25 mark in the fourth quarter. But the Warriors responded with 10-1 run to essentially put Game 2 away.

Harden topped the Rockets with 34 points, and like Curry, he too soldiered through an injury after being inadvertently poked in the eyes during a rebounds scrum with Draymond Green. Harden, who left at the 6:39 left in the first quarter before returning at the 7:09 mark in the second quarter, played only for 34 minutes.

"I barely could see," Harden told reporters at the post-game press conference. Administered with eye drops to help with the blurred vision he hopes to be ready for Game 3, saying "It's pretty blurry right now. Hopefully, it gets better day by day."

Chris Paul turned in 18 points and six dimes for Houston and Eric Gordon nailed three triples to finish with 15. Clint Capela added 14 and 10 rebounds and Tucker chipped in 13 for Houston, which kept charging at the Warriors by converting 17 of their 40 three-point attempts.

To the delight of majority of the 19,596 home crowd, the Warriors jumped to a 29-20 first quarter lead and ended up making 42 of their 91 field goals (46.2 percent) and 11 of their 36 triples (30.6 percent).

Both teams combined for 45 free throws with both Golden State and Houston making 20.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ponciano Melo Jr..


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