Warriors defuse Rockets, set 4th straight NBA Finals face-off vs Cavaliers

MANILA, Philippines – Stephen Curry and the Warriors came back strong in the 2nd half to win the Western Conference title and sent the Houston Rockets out, 101-92 on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 (Manila Time) at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, USA.

Warriors defuse Rockets, set 4th straight NBA Finals face-off vs Cavaliers
Stephen Curry and the Warriors set another face-off against their nemesis: King James and his Cavaliers for the 4th straight time | Photo Credit: ABS-CBN News

Prior to the their win-or-go-home game 7, coaching staff had announced that their 1st-string point guard, Chris Paul will not play due to a hamstring injury that he sustained in game 5 that caused worry and panic to the entire Rockets nation.

With Cleveland Cavaliers now await their finals opponent, the Golden State Warriors really look forward for another rematch but the Houston Rockets with or without Chris Paul tried to end the Dubs Dynasty and create a history.

At the opener, the Rockets didn’t miss the services of their tried and tested veteran point guard as “The Beard”, James Harden started to rain it from the outside and even got Klay Thompson into early foul trouble.

Harden’s eruption gave his team a 5-point 24-19 lead after the 1st 12 minutes of the game. James Harden tallied 14 big points while Kevin Durant registered 8 points for the Warriors.

Seldomly-used Joe Johnson became instrumental in orchestrating his team’s plays on court that led to Houston’s first double-digit advantage at 34-23 over Golden State in the 2nd period.

Although well-known for his three point shooting skills, Joe Johnson made an impact by locating his open teammates and dishing out to them for sre buckets.

Aside from James Harden, 3 more Rockets joined the three point shooting spree. PJ Tucker, Eric Gordon and Gerald Green dropped long bombs to ensure that their team will maintain the lead. In contrast, Stephen Curry was out of his rhythm and one of the reasons why the Dubs were behind the Rockets.

At the end of the half, Houston still led Golden State by 11, 54-43 behind James Harden’s 16 points.

If there’s one thing that Rockets should be worried about the Warriors, it should be: the Dubs ability to turn the tides around in the 2nd half.

Houston had been warned during their game 6 encounter where they led the Warriors in the 1st half and totally lost the game as soon as the 3rd quarter started.

Just like that, the Warriors were able to cut the lead down to just 5, 58-53 with over 7 minutes remaining in the third.

Stephen Curry finally found his groove from the three point territory and snatched the lead from Houston at the 4-minute mark and sustained it until the end of the 3rd quarter 76-69.

James Harden tried to catch up with Golden State at the final quarter. Harden made significant baskets but got no help from his teammates. Eric Gordon tried to bring his waxing hot hands from the first 2 quarters to the final period but missed them all.

The Rockets looked too tired and became defenseless at dying minutes of the game that paved way for the Warriors to hold onto their lead and officially booked the last ticket to this year’s Finals.

Houston being the overall top-seeded team gallantly bowed out of the tournament with a 101-92 loss versus the defending Champions.

Golden State and Cleveland will face each other again for the 4th straight time where the Warriors have 2 titles and the Cavaliers have 1 under their names.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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