Warriors vs. Rockets, Game 1 on Monday

Shaq plays police chief for a day

Shaq plays police chief for a day

They roared back in the following game with a 26-point blowout. The Celtics will aim to limit James again in the team's Game 2 matchup Tuesday night in Boston. The Warriors may have lost two of three, but they hold the overall point margin from the regular season by just one point.

It's finally here! The Western Conference Finals get underway this evening after almost a week since both teams played.

The scouting report on the Warriors is in some ways pretty simple.

Steph Curry added 18 for the Warriors, who are in the conference finals for a franchise-record fourth straight time. Simply put, the Warriors are a juggernaut.

What do the Rockets have that could end the Warriors' reign atop the sport?

Curry broke up a pass, chased down the loose ball and found Andre Iguodala for a breakaway dunk midway through the third quarter. The main scouting question for them is just how long Draymond Green can anchor the Death Lineup at center with Clint Capela manning the middle for the Rockets. That's way down from his 35.9 percent in the regular season.

No, if you need to pinpoint the root of the Warriors' underachieving 58-win regular season, you should look toward this team's general sense of apathy and disinterest.

The Rockets are more than just their two future Hall of Fame guards, however. But he can also guard Tucker and (Rockets reserve forward Luc) Mbah a Moute. The addition of Kevin Durant two summers ago placed the Warriors in rare-air boasting 4 all-star players in the lineup.

"It's going to be a fight", Capela said. Other than that, the Warriors can seem listless, disengaged, perfunctory, out of rhythm, even discombobulated.

"We were the best team in the league all year but that's not our goal". Sometimes that gets the best of us. Paul's historically excellent individual playoff stats have been undermined by his lack of team success in the postseason.




"I don't have comfort being at home", he said. Fifty-one percent of those isolation plays result in scores.

Durant wasn't happy with coach Steve Kerr when he took him out in late in the third quarter and loudly asked his coach why he was putting him on the bench.

Chris Paul didn't have a bad game with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

With the West fielding the two best teams this season, the match-up between the Warriors and Rockets could likely be the most important series of the playoffs.

Now the Rockets are left to regroup after losing their leg up in the homecourt advantage they worked all season for.

Stephen Curry certainly feels back to his spot-on self with the swagger that goes with those dazzling drives and way-back 3-pointers. They've got four All Stars. The Warriors aren't just a hard team to beat on the floor; they're a psychological threat. Nor did it mean anything that Houston was the No. 1 seed and had home court advantage. Hounded by the excellent Klay Thompson for a large part of the game, CP3 found the going tough, but he was money from mid-range for the most part.

"What he does is as good or better than anybody in the league without a doubt", coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Only four teams-the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in the West and the Cleveland Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics in the East -of the 18 that advanced to the post-season playoffs remain in the Conference Finals to contend for the two berths that will dispute the National Basketball Association championship.

When the final seconds ticked away, the Houston Rockets fell to the Golden State Warriors, 119-106.

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