2018 West Finals: Rockets support crew helps tie the series

1. Houston Rockets 127 – 2. Golden State Warriors 105 (Series tied 1-1)

In Game 1, the story was about James Harden. The Houston Rockets superstar led the way with 41 points, trying to carry his team to a win. Unfortunately the Rockets didn’t get much from everyone else. In the end, Golden State was able to grind out a Game 1 win.

In Game 2, Harden only scored 27 points and shot only 37.5%. But he got a ton of help from the rest of the Rockets. Whenever the Warriors were pushing to get back in the game, it was all the other Rockets that played big roles in launching the Rockets ahead.

The Rockets zoomed ahead big in the first half getting big contributions from Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, Trevor Ariza and Harden. They were up by as much as 19 points and took a 16-point lead heading into halftime. The Warriors cut the lead down to just 10 points in the third quarter led by Durant.

Chris Paul and Tucker scored on floaters immediately after a timeout. Then Paul and Gordon made big shots, including an and-one layup from Gordon to rebuild the lead back to 16.

In the fourth quarter the Warriors cut the lead down to 11 points again, putting them within striking distance. But three-pointers from Harden, Gordon and Tucker ended Golden State’s push with three treys in an 11-0 run.

Tucker was shut down in Game 1, scoring only one point. In Game 2 he helped the cause with 22 points, missing only one shot in nine tries. Gordon scored his usual 15 points in Game 1. He upped that total to equal Harden’s 27 in Game 2. Ariza was also limited to eight points in Game 1. In Game 2, he scored 19 points missing only two of his nine shots. The three wings combined for 68 points on 69% shooting.

The Warriors were led by Durant who was the lone bright spot on the team. He scored 38 points and only needed 22 shots to get that total. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green could only muster a combined 40 points, missing 23 shots of their 45 shots.

Even with this loss, the Warriors did what they had to do in Houston: steal one game. The key for the Rockets now is to get a win when the series shifts to Oakland.

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