Oakland (USA), .- The star forward Kevin Durant returned to be the undisputed leader of the Golden State Warriors to provide 35 points that allowed them to beat the Rockets 104-100 in the first game of the tie. semifinal of the Western Conference that they dispute to the best of seven.
Neither team played their best basketball, but in the end the decisive points fell on the side of the Warriors, who had in Durant and the base Stephen Curry the players who got them.
Rockets starter Chris Paul was sent off with two technical fouls with 4.4 seconds remaining after arguing with referees who had not pointed foul on power forward Draymond Green to a triple shot by shooting guard James Harden. , with nine seconds to play, which failed and that could have been the draw.
Green contributed 14 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds as the most complete player of the two league champions, who face in the final phase for the fourth time against the Rockets in the last 5 years, without the previous three teams have been able to win.
Harden contributed 35 points with six assists, but missed 12 of 16 attempts from 3-pointers, while guard Eric Gordon reached 27 points, but was also not inspired by outside-the-box shots with 4 baskets of 13 attempts.
The Rockets as a team scored 14 triples of 47 attempts, barely 30 percent success.
The Houston team hit just three times in the first 14 attempts and went down in the score with a 28-19 run.
Paul got 17 points, with four assists and three turnovers, while the Swiss center Clint Capela could not be factor in the game because the Rockets decided on the option of the triples and just gave him balls inside the paint, that determined that it finished with just four points (1-2, 0-0, 2-2), six defensive rebounds, and two assists.
Harden scored a three-pointer with 40 seconds to go and put the Rockets to two goals (100-98), but Curry scored a monumental triple over the defense of Brazilian center Nené Hilario on the next possession of the Warriors and finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Durant, who in the previous two games of the first-round tie against the Los Angeles Clippers, established his best professional marks in the playoffs of 45 and 50 points, respectively, scored 11 of 25 field goals and 12 of 15 from the line of personal.
The star forward of the Warriors won for the fifth consecutive game at least 30 points, which tied his best mark as a professional, which had established in the season of 2017 from June 1 to 12, his first with the Warriors.
Durant, with his first basket of the match, reached 1,281 points and outperformed the legendary Wilt Chamberlain (1,246) in fifth place on the Warriors’ all-time high list in the playoff competition.
The guard Klay Thompson, despite playing with pains in the right ankle, injured, contributed 13 points, and along with Curry, who also suffers the same type of ailment from the sixth game against the Clippers, were doubtful before the start of the duel against the Rockets.
The referees returned to be protagonists after missing 2.1 seconds by the end of the third period pointed technical failures to coach Mike D’Antoni and Paul, which allowed the Warriors to score both staff shots and give his team a partial advantage of 83-76.
“I think the match could be for either team, in the end we got the decisive points,” said Kerr at the end of the game. “We both know each other very well and we compete until the end without making any concessions.”
For his part, D’Antoni said that the team had had the opportunity to get the victory, but in the end, again, they stayed at the door, and they are 5-13 in the duels with the Warriors in phase matches. final since 2015.
“It is no longer good to think or talk about what happened on the field with some decisive referees, we must save positive energies for the next match that will be the challenge we will have to overcome,” said D’Antoni.
The second match of the series will be played on Tuesday on the same stage: the Oracle Arena. (EFE)