Oakland, California, USA: The Golden State Warriors took advantage of Chris Paul’s absence due to injury, in a 115-86 win over the Houston Rockets at the Oracle Arena on Saturday night, to extend their season at least one more game.
Golden State rallied from an early 17-point deficit to stave off elimination.
Riding a two-game winning streak but without injured point guard Chris Paul, the Rockets shocked the defending champs with an early burst of four consecutive 3-pointers to help produce a 39-22 lead after one quarter.
But the Warriors crept within 61-51 at halftime, then used powerful 3-point shooting of their own to pass Houston before the end of the third quarter and pull away early in the fourth.
Klay Thompson hit nine 3-pointers and scored 35 points. Stephen Curry added 29 points and five 3s on a night Harden dazzled for long stretches with 32 points, nine assists and seven rebounds while backcourt mate Chris Paul sat out sidelined by a strained right hamstring.
Kevin Durant struggled with his stroke at 6 for 17 but still scored 23 points as the defending champions kept their repeat quest alive by thoroughly outplaying Houston in the second half. The Warriors outscored the Rockets 55-20 in the second half before both coaches subbed their key players with 4:28 left.
The Rockets made 8 of 12 3-pointers in the first and topped the Warriors 19-4 in fast-break points. Houston committed 11 first-half turnovers, five early.
The Warriors outscored Houston 93-47 over the final three quarters.
The Warriors opened the third with an 11-0 burst to go ahead 62-61 on Curry’s 3 at 9:17, also getting a pair of 3s from Thompson and a dunk by Durant.
Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for seven 3-pointers in the third quarter Sunday night, May 26, rallying the Golden State Warriors from a 10-point halftime deficit to a 115-86 run-away win.
Golden State outscored Houston 31-9 in the final 12 minutes.
The Rockets shot 11-for-22 on threes in the first half, but then just 4-for-17 the rest of the way.
The Warriors, meanwhile, rebounded from a 4-for-18 first half from long distance with a 12-for-20 finish.
The Rockets led the league with 65 regular-season wins from 82 games.
The winner of the series will face either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals starting on 31 May. The Celtics and Cavs are tied 3-3 in the Eastern Conference finals.
|Game 1||Mon. May 14 (WARRIORS WIN)||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
|Game 2||Weds. May 16 (ROCKETS WIN)||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
|Game 3||Sun. May 20 (WARRIORS WIN)||8 p.m.||Golden State (Oracle Arena)|
|Game 4||Tue. May 22 (ROCKETS WIN)||9 p.m.||Golden State (Oracle Arena)|
|* Game 5||Thu. May 24 (ROCKETS WIN)||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
|* Game 6||Sat. May 26 (WARRIORS WIN)||9 p.m.||Golden State (Oracle Arena)|
|* Game 7||Mon. May 28||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
* if necessary