The Warriors achieved a 119-106 win against the Rockets on Monday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, with Kevin Durant being the best performer on the court for Golden State, as he finished with 37 points, three rebounds, and an assist on the night after 40 minutes of action.
Harden scored 41 to lead the Rockets, who lost at home for the second time this post-season.
"They took the challenge and played awfully well", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "This is why anyone would want him on their team..." "I think he's going to get even better as the series goes on which is exciting for us".
Durant scored 17 first-half points and sparked Golden State after the Rockets played aggressively at the start, using two big runs to jump ahead only to have the Warriors overtake them by the middle of the second quarter.
'We're in the Western Conference finals, they are going to come out with a lot of energy, ' Durant said. It was an exciting, entertaining first half that featured both teams going back and forth before entering the break tied at 56-56.
Just to be clear about what kind of armor the Warriors travel with these days, they've won a game on the road in 18 consecutive playoff series, well before the Durant era.
"He needs about 55 next time, and that would take care of it", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni quipped.
The Houston Rockets are allowing 38.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.6 rebounds per game. The Warriors knew it coming into the series, but the Rockets found out first hand on Monday that there's simply no adjustment or scheme change that an opposing team can implement to stop Durant - save perhaps for a collective prayer that he misses shots in bunches. "You can't live with that and make mental mistakes", D'Antoni said. We didn't get rattled. We can't withstand turning the ball over and giving up so many wide open threes'.
While Durant served as a midrange gunner, recording three rebounds and one assist, Thompson scorched Houston from the perimeter, hitting 6 of 15 3-point attempts.
Klay Thompson hit six 3's, majority wide open, and finished with 28 points to help bust the game wide open.
The Rockets stretched the lead to 21-15 on a Clint Capela dunk after the Warriors were caught scrambling defensively. The Warriors are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Houston, 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the road team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings. Harden has to work way too hard and make insane shots to the point he's gassed in the second half. The Warriors fell early into foul trouble to Andre Iguodala (four) and Draymond Green (three, one technical), but they still had enough star power.
Green got T'd up just a minute into Game 1 for pushing James Harden and was only able to score five points in 37 minutes, a postseason low.
Green added two blocks and two steals to anchor the Golden State defense.