Just as he did in leading the Warriors to an National Basketball Association title with a Finals MVP, Kevin Durant finished with a team-leading 37 points while shooting 14-of-27 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point range. After one bucket midway through the second quarter, KD had a message for the Rockets and it seemed to be directed at Trevor Ariza.
Thompson took over the No. 2 scoring role by going for 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting and six 3-pointers.
Klay Thompson hit six 3's, majority wide open, and finished with 28 points to help bust the game wide open.
"We know James is an all-world scorer, he's gonna make shots over us, we just try to stay solid", Kevin Durant said after the game (NBC Sports). The unit that has played so well this postseason got off to a rocky start, going -8 in their first four minutes on the floor, before two quick Andre Iguodala fouls forced him to the bench.
The Golden State Warriors enter Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals as the favorites to win a second-straight NBA Championship - and third in the last four years - when they face the Houston Rockets in a matchup that will live stream from Toyota Center in Houston on Monday night.
"When you go against the champ, you've got to knock them out", he continued.
As they have all season, though, the Warriors took control in the third quarter. The Warriors finished the season first in offensive rating with 112.3 points per 100 possessions, while the Rockets were right behind at 112.2.
While the Warriors had trouble with Harden, Houston had similar issues with Durant, who had 13 of his own in the quarter.
"It's been a while since we've started out a series on the road", Draymond Green told Haynes.
Stephen Curry certainly feels back to his spot-on self with the swagger that goes with those dazzling drives and way-back 3-pointers. Chris Paul is probably the NBA's second-best point guard, but he's a tier below Curry, who's won two MVP awards since 2015.
These two teams are in line for a special finish tonight and potentially a special series overall.
"Everybody always wants to point out me and James, but he's the X-factor", Paul said. Curry and Looney battled hard and had a few key stops, but Harden typically got the better of them. But unlike Harden, he had more than just a little help from his friends.