The Golden State Warriors blew an opportunity to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Houston Rockets. Will now instead look for a split on the road.
James Harden coming off the eye injury played superbly. Even when on the bench, Chis Paul and the Houston Rockets bench took it to the Warriors late in the first quarter and to begin the second quarter. Building the lead to nine. Late in the half it seemed a run by Golden State was inevitable.
Each time the Warriors got close, the Rockets answered. With Harden making free throws and a layup late, Eric Gordon making a three, and Clint Capela getting a dunk after a Paul offensive rebound.
Kevin Durant took over in the third and fourth quarters offensively for the Warriors. He took it upon himself to answer the call once the Rockets got a lead of 13 in the third with a little over three and a half minute left in the quarter.
He made two free throws, made a three, and a lay up. With Stephen Curry adding a lay up of his own along with Alfonso McKinnie. Yet, the biggest shot that got made a three by Draymond Green with five seconds remaining to cut the lead to seven at that point.
Golden State got the ball to start the fourth where Durant made three, hit a couple of jumpers and then another three. Suddenly the Warriors were up one. Yet, were not able to grow the leader as Houston answered with a Capela free throw, Harden making a floater and a Gordon three.
Klay Thomson made several threes in the fourth one for a one point lead and the other to get the Warriors within one. He also came up with a steal and found Curry for a layup to take the lead and it got missed, yet he was right there to get fouled and make two free throws for the lead.
With the Warriors down one, Durant found a wide open Andre Iguodala for a three in which he buried for a two point lead with 45.9 seconds remaining. Curry though gave Harden two free throws as he inexplicably fouled him. With both made a tie game with 38.7 seconds left.
For whatever reason the Warriors did not use a timeout and didn’t go for the two for one. Instead ran clock and Durant got a good look, yet missed. The Rockets also didn’t use a timeout and Paul drove to the basket and Thompson came up with a tremendous defensive play leading to a jump ball. Houston won the tip and did not have time to put up a shot.
In overtime P.J. Tucker came up with several offensive rebounds and put backs. Harden came up with a dagger with a three pointer with 49 seconds left or so it seemed. Durant got fouled on a three-point attempt by Austin Rivers and made all three free throws. A three point game with plenty of time left for the Warriors.
Harden responded with a floater as Green attempted to draw a charge and didn’t get the call. A screen by him led to a wide open lane to the hoop for Curry who missed his second lay up of the overtime.
Golden State elected to not foul and Houston won 126-121.
Leading the way for Golden State, Durant with 46 points and six assists, Green recorded a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and Iguodala added 17 points.
For Houston, Harden led the way with 41 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Gordon finished with 30 points and Paul went for 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.