The Houston Rockets played a bad game. They shot just 41 percent from the field, were just 14-47 from beyond the arc, and they allowed the Golden State Warriors to shoot over 50 percent from the field. Houston got very little offensive help outside of James Harden, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon, and they’ll need to get better in multiple ways to snag Game 2 and get back into this series.
That being said, there’s simply no excuse for the ridiculous display of officiating we witnessed today. The Warriors repeatedly invaded the landing space on Houston shooters on three-point shots. This is an infraction that was not only called all season as a foul that the league wished to emphasize, but it’s also a dangerous one, endangering the health of a shooter’s ankles (see Kawhi Leonard). But for some unknown reason, suddenly, after 6 months of calling that type of defense a foul, tonight’s officials decided that was no longer an infraction.
The worst offender on the night was Klay Thomson, who should have fouled out in the third quarter after racking up three no calls in the first half.
All 3 Klay closeouts on Harden pic.twitter.com/x6iGuPECqu— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) April 28, 2019
There was also a pretty egregious foul by Draymond Green on Harden as he attempted a three in the closing seconds.
Oh, and to compound matters, CP3 was tossed from the game immediately after for getting his second technical for complaining about the continual misses from the officials.
Again, the Rockets were sloppy. Harden was just 9-28 from the field and 4-13 from three despite scoring 35 points (cue some numbskull complaining that because Harden shot 14 free three throws, that somehow invalidates the blatant missed calls.) Clint Capela could barely stay on the floor, finishing with just 4 points and 6 boards in 27 minutes. P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, Gerald Green, and Iman Shumpert hit just 3 combined threes for the entire game, and the defense needs to be better overall.
But none of that excuses playing under one set of rules the entire year and a different set the moment you get on the floor with the Warriors.
It wasn’t all bad for the Rockets. Eric Gordon continued to light it up, scoring 27 points on 10-19 shooting, and he pretty much got to the basket at will. CP3 had 17 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals on 5-9 shooting. And Nene had a pretty effective 14 minutes of action, going for 8 points, 3 steals and added some physical play, despite being isolated on Stephen Curry on a late three that essentially sealed the game for the Dubs.
Houston also forced 20 Golden State turnovers, 13 of which came in the first half, and that’s something to build off of defensively despite Golden State’s stellar shooting percentage in this game.
They were led by Kevin Durant, who finished with 35 points and had several clutch buckets down the close of the fourth, while Curry finished with 18, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala had 14 apiece, while Klay Thompson had 13.
These two teams will get back at it on Tuesday night, where we’ll hopefully get some sharper play all across the board, and maybe even some clarification why fouls are no longer fouls, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.