Posted on May 7 , 2019, by Travis Pulver
After losing both games in Oakland to start the series, it wasn’t looking good for the Houston Rockets as they headed home for Games Three and Four. That meant they pretty much needed to win both games at home to have a legitimate chance to win the series.
Against a team as talented as the Golden State Warriors, such a task is easier said than done. But they took care of business and Game Three Saturday night, and while it was close, they got the job done in Game Four as well.
James Harden led the way for the Rockets with 38 points and ten rebounds, but it was Chris Paul hitting one of two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to give Houston a four-point lead that iced the game.
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Kevin Durant and Steph Curry had a chance to tie the game after James Harden hit one of two free throws to give Houston a three-point with 11.5 seconds left. But both missed their shot. Durant got off a desperation three following Paul’s free throws but missed again.
“We got a couple of wide-open looks,” Durant said after the game, via ESPN. “They just didn’t fall for us.”
At first, it looked like the Rockets might be in trouble after Steph Curry started the game with 11 points in the first quarter. But he was only 1-4 from three-point range in the quarter. He cooled down over the final three quarters, and while he still had 30 points on the night, he was 4-14 from three-point range.
Houston’s offense, on the other hand, heated up in the second scoring 36. However, their defense held the Warriors to 26 giving the Rockets a 61-54 lead at the half.
The good times continued to roll for the Rockets in the second half. During the third, they led by as much as 17-points, but the Warriors were able to narrow the lead to eight heading into the fourth quarter.
However, a nine-point deficit is nothing to a team like the Warriors. But it quickly grew to 15-points as the Rockets opened the fourth with an 8-2 run. Golden State chipped away at the lead throughout the quarter and got within two following a Steph Curry three-pointer with 19.3 seconds to go.
James Harden had a chance to ice the game but missed one of his two free throws on the next possession. But the Warriors failed to make another shot. Chris Paul’s free throw with 2.9 seconds left gave Houston a four-point lead and made the final 112-108.
However, as well as they played, the Rockets know they will need to be even better if they are going to win Game Five.
“We’ve got to be better,” P. J. Tucker said after the game. “We’ve got to be more aggressive. We’ve got to pick it up.”
Along with Harden’s 38, the Rockets got 20 from Eric Gordon and 17 from Tucker. As a team, they hit 17 of 50 three-pointers; the Warriors, however, made only eight (of 33 attempts).
Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors again with 34 points. Steph Curry had a good day with 30 but is doing most of his work inside the arc (made 4-14 three-pointers and 8-11 two-pointers). Klay Thompson struggled going 5-15 from the floor and 1-6from three-point range for just 11-points.
The series will now move back to Oakland for Game Five Wednesday night. Despite losing the last two games, the Warriors are favored by six.