The Golden State Warriors enter Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals as the favorites to win a second-straight NBA Championship — and third in the last four years — when they face the Houston Rockets in a matchup that will live stream from Toyota Center in Houston on Monday night. But the much-improved Rockets defense will look to curtail the NBA's best shooting team and hold their home court as they hope to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995.
The Rockets have won two NBA titles — in 1994 and in 1995 — and have made just four Finals appearances in their 52-year history. Golden State has tallied three championships in six Finals bids since moving from Philadelphia to California's Bay Area in 1962.
To find out how to watch a live stream of Game One in the NBA Western Conference Finals series pitting the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. Central Daylight Time at the 18,000-seat Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Monday, May 14. That start time will be 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 6 p.m. Pacific.
Though they were good enough to take the second seed in the Western Conference, the Warriors finished seven games behind the Rockets in the regular season standings. Houston finished at 65-17, putting them in a four-way tie for the 11th highest winning percentage (.793) in NBA history.
One thing that appears close to certain — the Warriors-Rockets conference final series should be a wild, high-scoring affair. In three regular season meetings, two of them won by Houston, all three games saw the teams combine for at least 200 points.
Team — and league — leading scorer James Harden (30.4 points per game) set the tone for the Rockets in the two head-to-head meetings in which he took part, throwing in 27 on October 17 and 22 on January 20, while guard Chris Paul had a 30-point performance of his own in that final regular-season meeting between the two best teams in the West.
The Rockets have been deadly from behind the arc in the 2018 playoffs, outscoring opponents by 13.8 points per game from three-point land. The Boston Celtics are second in that category, besting their opponents by 5.5 points on three-pointers. In fact, Houston has taken a playoff-high 46 percent of all shots from three-point range in this postseason run.
But they will be coming up against a Golden State team that was tops in the NBA when it came to defending against three-point shots, allowing a league lowest opponents' three-point shooting percentage of just 32 percent.
Of course, the Warriors were also the best in the NBA when it came to defending any kind of shot, holding foes to a 43 percent shooting rate in the regular season.
Watch a preview of the Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets NBA Western Conference Final series courtesy of ESPN in the video below.To watch the Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets NBA Western Conference final round Game One matchup live stream online from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, access the streaming video provided by Watch TNT at this link, or by downloading the Watch TNT app to watch a live stream on mobile devices. Watch TNT also streams live on the Amazon Fire TV set-top streaming device, allowing fans to watch the Warriors vs. Rockets showdown streaming live to their TV sets.
For fans who want to stream the Golden State vs. Houston opening game matchup for free without cable login credentials, a feed from TNT Overtime will also stream at the above link, or on most mobile devices. TNT Overtime allows fans to choose and switch between any one of four camera angles on the game, or to watch all four at the same time in a mosaic view.
Another way to watch the series opener between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets in the NBA Western Conference series stream live for free without a cable subscription is for fans to sign up for a free trial of an "over the top" streaming TV package, such as DirecTV Now at this link, Sling TV at this link, or YouTube TV at this link. All of those services require credit card information and subscription fees — but each offers a seven-day free trial, and if the subscription is canceled prior to the expiration of that weeklong period, fans can watch the Warriors vs. Rockets Game One live stream for free.