In the final game of their regular season series, the Rockets dropped a tough loss to the Warriors 106-104.
The Rockets were down by as much as 14 in the fourth quarter but stormed back to nearly tie the game after Chris Paul’s and-one brought the score to 104-103 with 10 seconds to play.
With 6.4 seconds left, James Harden went to the free throw line down three. After making the first free throw, Harden appeared to intentionally miss the second in order to get the ball back for one final shot.
P.J. Tucker tipped the ball into the open court, but it landed in the possession of Andre Iguodala, and the Warriors ran out the clock to seal the win.
The Rockets seemed to play from behind the whole night and found ways to come back every time.
Every time the Warriors went on a run, the Rockets countered.
The Rockets were lucky to be in the contest at all tonight as the Warriors outmatched them in almost every statistical category.
The Warriors shot better than the Rockets both overall and from behind the three-point line. Houston shot just 26.8 percent from behind the arc compared to Golden State’s 37.5 percent.
In what was the biggest eye-catching stat of the night, the Warriors viciously outrebounded the Rockets 44-31.
Outside of Clint Capela’s team-high 13 rebounds, the team had grabbed just 18 boards. On the offensive end, the Rockets had just five offensive boards.
Kevon Looney eclipsed that total by himself and the rest of the team had seven altogether.
Kevin Durant did not suit up for the Warriors tonight with an ankle injury, but the team still had plenty of production.
Klay Thompson led all scorers with 30, Stephen Curry added 24 and DeMarcus Cousins had his best game as a Warrior. His 27 points and seven assists were season highs.
For the Rockets, Harden put 29 on the scoreboard while dishing 10 dimes and CP3 performed swimmingly with 24 points and six assists. Capela added a double-double with 13 and 13.
All in all, the Rockets had no business being in this game. The Warriors deserved the win, but despite being outplayed, the Rockets still had a chance to win late and could not seal the deal. All the Rockets needed was to make one of their 30 misses from deep and we have a different result.
This should not be a devastating result. It is a setback and likely eliminates any possibility of the #1 seed, but the Rockets can still go full steam ahead. They are still the biggest challenge for the Warriors and this game should not change that despite the outcome.
The Rockets look to bounce back Friday as the Phoenix Suns come to town. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. CT.