Kevin Durant tells Rockets 'you can't guard me' during Game 1

Aubrey Yates
May 15, 2018

Only one team can advance and that team will be the favorite to win it all over either Boston or Cleveland. CP3 finally ended his conference finals drought and played a major role in doing so, but he'll need to be better for Houston to have a chance. They predicted correctly they could overcome lacking home-court advantage. And we knew that the Rockets would present a challenge for the Warriors when they came into Oracle Arena and defeated Golden State on opening night.

Both teams have looked dominant in the postseason, dropping only two total games in the first two rounds.

Here are the keys to victory for the Rockets in Game 1.

The Rockets may want to guard him next time. Both teams are among the league's best first-quarter teams.

Houston is 50-5 this season in games where all three have played, and during the regular season the Rockets outscored their opponents in those games by an average of 11.5 points. Ultimately, the result was a 119-106 Warriors win, following the lead of last year's Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who dominated all game with 37 points and could seemingly get whatever shot he wanted at any given moment. "They are always in the game with 3-point shots". When the Rockets had the ball, they worked hard to funnel Harden into particular matchups. Curry had 18 points and made only one 3-pointer, though he found a way to make an offensive impact in other ways with eight assists and a variety of driving layups.

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For Golden State it's familiar territory but this will be a whole new experience for most of Houston's roster. Clint Capella added another 12 points and Eric Gordon chipped in 15 off the bench. He tallied 24 first-half points and finished the game with 41 on 14-of-24 shooting.

"I'm taking the Warriors at plus-1.5", joked Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, whose team was actually picked by Las Vegas to lose Game 1.

"It's a must that you have to have (someone like him) against Golden State or they're going to get you", he said. They will go on a scoring binges.

However, Las Vegas still has them as major underdogs against a Warriors team that cruised through perhaps the most underwhelming 58-win season in National Basketball Association history before needing only 10 total games to get by San Antonio and New Orleans in the first two rounds.

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