The Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 115-109 on Tuesday night, holding serve at home, and sending the series to Texas up 2-0. Houston's James Harden and the Dubs' Stephen Curry each sustained first-quarter injuries, causing both stars to head back to their respective locker rooms for treatment.
Harden, who was inadvertently struck across his eyes by Draymond Green, didn't return until the second quarter, while Curry, temporarily sidelined with a dislocated finger on his left hand, re-emerged during and returned in the first quarter. Though, the Warrior sharpshooter was visibly off, badly missing his first three attempts from beyond the arc. However, both would regroup and mostly regain their usual excellence during the second quarter.
The game was not necessarily a comfortable win for Golden State, even though they were ahead by double digits throughout most of the night. The Rockets hung in there, never allowing the Dubs to put them away, cutting the lead to three late in the fourth. However, that was as close as Houston would come to tying or taking the lead, as Curry and Durant owned the final minutes of the period, each coming through especially in the clutch with final-minute free-throw shooting. Steph knocked down two important foul shots, when Houston had cut the lead back to just six, with 41.4 seconds remaining in regulation. The rest of the way, Durant stepped to the line and made five of six, effectively sealing the win for Golden State.
In another all-around effort by the starting unit, each member contributed double-digit point totals. KD, the unofficial MVP of the playoffs thus far, poured in 29 points, adding five rebounds and four assists. Klay Thompson netted 21, with five rebounds and three steals. Curry accumulated 20 points, despite his early hand injury, plus five assists and two steals. Draymond came close to another playoff triple-double, his line included: 15 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, and 2 steals. Andre Iguodala, inserted into the starting lineup for a second consecutive matchup, contributed a solid 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists. A top-to-bottom defensive effort, each Warriors starter had at least one steal and was active in passing lanes and close-out situations.
Now the series shifts to Houston, for a pair of what should be electric matchups, where the Rockets will have to win at least one to extend the series. During the regular season, Houston swept the Dubs in Oakland, but split a pair of games back in Houston. Game 3 will be played on Saturday, in Houston, on ABC.