Golden State Warriors showed their class to defeated a spirited Houston Rockets side 101-92 to set up a Final against the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second consecutive season.
The Rockets looked the better side in the first two quarters, at one point having a 15 point lead. However, the Warriors could rely on the class of Kevin Durrant and Steph Curry to help them win the Western Conference. Durrant in particular impressed, scoring 34 points and contributing 5 rebounds and 5 assists for his team.
Rockets star James Harden scored two early free throws to appease an expectant home crowd. Another Foul from Clay Thompson saw Eric Gordon score two free throws to give the Rockets a 4-0 lead.
Harden hit a three-pointer to make it 7-4 to the Rockets. GSW hit back with Kevin Durrant and Steph Curry who registered his first of many three-pointers of the evening.
Harden got the better of Klay Thomson to hit a big three-pointer, the third foul for the Warrior's star who was promptly taken off afterwards.
Eric Gordon hit another three to give Houston a commanding 13-9 lead. Clint Capela dunked again to give the home side a 15-9 lead at the time out. As the Rockets looked to push their dominance in the early exchanges.
The Rockets seemed to be getting everything right in attack, PJ Tucker hit a three-pointer to stretch the Rockets lead to seven points, however, the 2017 NBA Champions hit back with Kevin Durant hitting a three-pointer to make it 14-18 before another timeout, taking his own tally to 7 points in the game.
James Harden hit two quick layups to take his own game score to 12 points to give the Rockets a 22-16 advantage. Two further free throws from Harden gave the Rockets a 24-17 lead. The home side impressed in defence in the closing moments of the first quarter which ended 24-19 for the Rockets. As ever, James Harden put up some impressive numbers scoring 14 points, producing 2 rebounds and 1 assist.
The Rockets pressed their advantage in the second quarter, with Harden hitting a plenty of three-pointers in the quarter. PJ Tucker’s emphatic dunk gave the home side a nine-point lead and the crowd at the Toyota Centre plenty to shout about. Harden assisted Clint N'Dumba-Capela’s dunk to give Houston a 34-23 lead at the timeout.
The Golden State Warriors suffered a scare when Steph Curry who took an awkward fall, thankfully the two-time MVP didn’t seriously injure himself.
The Rockets dominance continued with Eric Green and Gerald Gordon hitting three-pointers as the Rockets raced into a 42-28 lead. Whilst Capela produced another layup to make it 44-30, Kevin Durrant hit back for theGolden State Warriors to make it 44-33 with five minutes left in the second quarter.
Klay Thompson continued his poor start for the game, missing two shots from the free throw, James Harden broke away with an emphatic dunk to give his side a 15 point lead, taking his own tally to 16 points making it 48-33 to the Rockets.
The Warriors started their comeback in earnest when Steph Curry hit a three-pointer which was quickly followed up by Klay Thomson hitting a three-pointer as the Golden State Warriors looked to cut the deficit. However, it was the Rockets who were excelling defensively with Clint N'Dumba-Capela impressing with two quick-fire dunks, one of which was expertly assisted by Harden to give Houston a 52-43 lead.
Eric Gordon then hit a layup just on the buzzer put the Rockets up 54-43 at half-time. An 11 point lead heading into the final two quarters.
The Rockets started the third quarter well as James Harden scored a layup to get the Rockets fans on their feet. The Warriors stepped up offensively with Kevin Durrant and Nick Young hitting consecutive three-pointers, making it a six-point game at 58-53.
Clint Capela took his score to 16 with a nice two-pointer but the third quarter was all about the comeback from the Warriors who produced when it mattered in the third quarter.
Steph Curry made a three-pointer to make it 58-61 closing the deficit to just three points before the time-out. Immediately after the break, Kevin Durrant hit a three-pointer to level it at 61-61, Curry again hit a three-pointer with a slick move to give the Warriors a 64-61 lead.
Steph Curry was finding his stride and hit two consecutive three-pointers to give the Warriors a nine-point lead, whilst the Houston Rockets missed a host of three-pointers. The Warriors were growing in confidence towards the end of the third quarter.
Kevin Durant was the key man for the Warriors, scoring ten points in the third period as the 2017 Champions took a 76-69 lead heading into the final quarter.
After fighting back so well in the third quarter, the Warriors managed the final quarter perfectly with Durrant & Curry combining to get the better of their rivals.
The Rockets tried their best in the final quarter, and James Harden hit a good lay-up to make it a 7 point game at 78-71. However, the influence of the 28-year old wained at the end as the 2017 Champions hit their stride.
Durrant was on fire and hit a mammoth three-pointer to make it 86-73 to take his personal tally to 23 in the game. Curry made it rain with another three, to take his tally to 27 taking the score to 89-76 with six minutes to play in the game. A three-pointer finally came off for the Rockets with PJ Tucker to make it a ten point game at 79-89 before the timeout.
Klay Thompson who was so nervy in the early exchanges summed up the Warriors game growing in confidence. The 28-year made a two-pointer after the three-pointer shot was rightfully overturned by the video referee to give the Warriors a ten point lead heading into the final three minutes, 93-83.
Kevin Durant hit another three-pointer to take his personal tally to 30 points as the Warriors turned on the class in the final stages of the contest. Durrant made the final four points for his side, including two from the free throw line to ensure that the Warriors ran out 101-92 winners. A rematch from last seasons Final against LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers now awaits the 2017 Champions.