The Golden State Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets with a 110-106 win at the Oracle Arena on Tuesday night.
MVP Stephen Curry finished the game with 34 points as the Warriors rallied from a 16-points deficit in the second quarter to earn their win with the Rockets threatening to pull off an immediate upset.
Houston were seemingly in position to upset the odds, but Golden State coach Steve Kerr opted to go small and it turned out to be decisive as his team went on a 21-4 run to take the game away from their rivals.
Shaun Livingston scored 14 of his 18 points in the second quarter, but full credit must go to the Rockets who continued to battle right through until the end with Trevor Ariza hitting a three-pointer with seconds remaining to cut the lead and put the hosts under pressure.
However, the Rockets suffered a huge blow in the game as center Dwight Howard departed with a knee injury, and it remains unclear as to whether or not he will be able to play in Game 2 on Thursday night.
Ariza ended the game with 20 points while Josh Smith had 17 and seven rebounds for the visitors, with coach Kevin McHale pleased on the whole with the performance but remains hopeful that he will have his star center back sooner rather than later.
James Harden finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and four steals, but his late push wasn’t enough to outshine Curry who added six rebounds and five assists to his night’s work.
Result: Houston Rockets 106-110 Golden State Warriors