The Golden State Warriors were able to hold off the Houston Rockets in their Game One victory of the Western Conference Finals. The final score was 110-106. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had a statement about Game One victory over the Rockets.
“To me the regular season means nothing… We haven’t seen these guys since late January. I wanted all the tapes the last few days. Every line-up was different. No [Pablo] Prigioni, Terrence Jones was out, Dwight Howard was out, Josh Smith was only there for a couple of games, all the line-ups were sort of – it was mix and match based on their injuries, based on some of ours [Andrew] Bogut didn’t play out game, Lee missed a couple of them. So I don’t think the regular-season record or the four match-ups, I don’t think they tell us a whole lot.”
The NBA MVP Stephen Curry finished scoring 34 points for the Warriors. The MVP runner up, James Harden, also had an outstanding Game One, scoring 28 points. The Warriors’ smaller line-up has been extremely effective in these playoffs. Kerr talked about Warriors line-up.
“We feel like we can always play small… We played small against Memphis [Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semifinals], and Memphis is without a doubt the most powerful interior team in terms of offensive post-up stuff and putting pressure on a team.”
Dwight Howard was ineffective when he injured his knee in the first quarter. Though his absence was felt, the Rockets’ bench than made up for the loss of Howard. Rookie Clint Cappella took over the center duties of the Rockets.
Harden was explosive on the offensive end, but it would not be enough down the stretch. Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said about the series not depending on James Harden to beat the Warriors.
“We don’t get to this [point] if not for Trev, Brew, Josh, Dwight, and Jet… We don’t even get to today… Everybody that stepped on the floor really contributed.”
The Warriors were able to hold off Harden toward the end of the fourth quarter. The Warriors went to their smaller line-up, using Draymond Green at center. Warriors depended on their jump shooters. Kerr talked about their line-up.
“It really stretches people out… Houston does the same thing. It was an interesting chess match, because they like to go small and we like to go small.”
The Warriors win against the Rockets was not as dominating as their series win against the Grizzlies, it gets them off to a good start in the Western Conference Finals. Game 2 will be in Oakland on Thursday.
[Photo credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Sport]