2019 NBA Playoffs: Warriors Hold Off Rockets For 2-0 Series Lead

Harry How - Getty Images

After their Game One victory, the Golden State Warriors the biggest story wasn’t another big performance from Kevin Durant, instead it was the officiating.

The Houston Rockets voiced their frustration about how the game got called believing that the Warriors did not give James Harden or Chris Paul room to land on three-point attempts. This led to scrutinity towards who the NBA selected for game two. Scott Foster and his crew.

There were even graphics being put up regardings the Rockets record with Foster refereeing. Still it was all for naught as the Warriors set the tone early defensively. As Durant forced a travel on Clint Capela to open the game and then on the ensuing possession drew an offensive foul on James Harden.

Harden did miss time in the first half for treatment for a cut eyelid after being inadvertently poked in the eye by Draymond Green. Stephen Curry left with a dislocated left middle finger. Both players returned.

With the defense setting the tone by forcing 13 turnovers. Andre Iguodala got the offense going with six quick points and finished with10, Durant continued his stellar play offensively and Klay Thompson got going in the second quarter scoring 11 of his 13 points. For a nine point halftime lead.  Offensive rebounding also was key.

Durant started the third off quickly scoring eight and then a bit of controversy surrounding the officiating. Curry picked up a questionable fourth foul relegating him to the bench with a little under seven minutes remaining in the quarter. Thompson hit back-to-back threes to push the lead to 15.

Houston still managed to hang around as Golden State went cold and cut the lead to seven after Durant fouled Harden on a three. Double technicals got called on Nene and Green, which will likely get rescinded.

Setting up for an entertaining fourth quarter. The Rockets got within four early in the fourth, yet Shaun Livingston scored four quick points to get the lead back to eight. Forcing Mike D’Antoni to call a timeout quickly.

Harden got going with several easy drives to the basket and then made a three. Capela split free throws and the Warriors lead only three. Curry dashed hopes by nailing another big three and follwing a Rockets miss. Green found Iguodala for a dunk and lead went back to eight.

Curry then picked up his fifth foul with five and a half minutes remaining. Houston did not take advantage and Thompson came up with a tremendous defensive play intercepting what looked like an easy look for Capela.

A loose ball foul on Iguodala and two free throws made by PJ Tucker got Houston within six. A missed three by Curry led to a good look for Paul, yet he missed. Thompson came flying in for the rebound got the ball to Curry who made the free throw. Durant split free throws and the lead with seconds remaining nine, a three by Rivers and a quick two after a Warriors over got it to four with three seconds remaining.

Durant then got fouled after a time out making both free throws for the six point win.

Even with missing time with injury Harden led the Rockets with 29 points and seven rebounds, Paul added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Eric Gordon added 15 points.

For Golden State, Durant went for 29 points and five rebounds, Thompson added 21 points and Curry 20 points and five assists.


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