Durant, Thompson power Warriors over Rockets in National Basketball Association playoffs

Warriors vs. Rockets in Western Conference finals

The Houston Rockets are allowing 38.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.6 rebounds per game.

Golden State Warriors guard Nick Young (6) reacts during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at Toyota Center on Monday, May 14, 2018, in Houston.

Harden battled him at least in terms of points as he went for 41 of his own, but they came in vastly different ways.

The comfort provided by a 2-1 record against the Warriors during the regular season series the Rockets held tight since January was blown away after just four quarters.

But Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and the rest of a Warriors team making its fourth straight appearance in the conference finals, they don't fold at the first sign of danger.

For a coach like Mike D'Antoni, who patented his seven seconds or less offense with the Suns, this team is the polar opposite.

"There's just too many times we had just mental lapses", D'Antoni said. We either didn't switch properly or we didn't switch hard enough. Every time we missed a layup, which we missed a lot of layups, they ran out.

"We've got to do a better job of taking better shots, not turning the ball over and getting back on D", Harden said.

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Starting a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014, the Warriors trailed by as many as nine early, but had evened it up by half-time and used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull away. All the same, falling down 0-2 to the Warriors, who'd still have three games at Oracle Arena, would leave the Rockets with a massive deficit to overcome in order to reach the NBA Finals.

He's averaging 23.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists in 32 minutes - all down from his 2017 playoff run. Hey, you can live with that. "We just tried to take their best punch and keep fighting". "The combination of the two was devastating".

Kerr acknowledged that he should have left him in at that point and raved about his performance after his fourth 30-point game this post-season.

But for as much as the Rockets fought, their defense faltered.

"Defensively, we've got to be better", Paul said. 'I thought he was extremely good. But tonight, every time we did it, they made the shot. "Some games, some series, you may make those mistakes, and guys don't make the shots". "I think we could be better".

However, as head coach Steve Kerr mentioned before the series, the Warriors boast the added advantage of being champions multiple times and Curry believes the experience certainly helped the team in remaining calm despite a good start for the home side. "They've been playing together, they know who they are. We've got this far doing that and having that mindset, so we're just going to continue with it". The Houston Rockets have won 15 of their last 18 home games.

The Rockets' must-win game is now Wednesday. The Warriors delivered their brand of pace and space in the victory.

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