Playing good isn’t going to be good enough if the Houston Rockets want to make this anything remotely close to a series. Despite James Harden and Kevin Durant off-setting each other in terms of scoring in both games this series, Houston has yet to come out with a win.
If they want to make this into a dog fight, fine, but they’re already down 0-2 in what feels like the blink of an eye.
To rub salt on the wound, the Warriors were out-performed by the Rockets in an area that Golden State normally dominates — from downtown. Houston shot 42.5% from deep to just 30% coming from the home team. The Rockets also had a better shooting percentage from the field but were beaten out in rebounds and overly generous with turnovers.
For the defending champs to win the second game of this series, it was not at all because of their bench. The supporting cast of the Warriors only contributed 14 of the team’s 115 points. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant led all scorers with 29 points (except for James Harden, who matched with 29) and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson dropped 20 and 21, respectively.
The score in the first two games doesn’t seem to reflect the gap between these two teams. At first glance, this was looked at to be a series where the Rockets drowned out the Warriors once and for all and helped put new teams in the conference finals — but Golden State was ready for it.
Heading to Houston, the Rockets must find their groove and emphasis their strengths if they want to avoid going down 3-0 in the second round battle. After losing by four points in Game 1 and just six points in Game 2, it’ll be interesting to see how James Harden and company respond with their backs against the wall.