Related Tags: The Golden State Warriors
It’s the Western Conference playoff matchup that we’ve all been waiting for. The juggernaut-filled squad of the Golden State Warriors matching up with the run-and-gun Houston Rockets, what could be better? The series kicked off on Sunday, as the Warriors took a close Game 1, winning 104-100 at Oracle Arena.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 35 points. KD shot just 11-25, but was able to reach the free throw line a game-high 15 times, allowing him to do damage from the charity stripe. Draymond Green was the x-factor on the night. The gritty power forward had an extremely efficient game, scoring 14 points on 7-9 shooting, and chipping in 9 assists and 9 rebounds.
James Harden put up 35 points of his own on the night. The shooting guard struggled shooting the ball, hitting just nine of 28 shots. Center Clint Capela was a non-factor in Game 1. The big man, who is usually heavily involved in the pick-and-roll with Harden and Paul, was ineffective on Sunday, scoring just four points and grabbing only six rebounds. Eric Gordon did well to make up for Capela's off-game. Gordon scored 27 points from 10-19 shooting, representing his highest total of this year's playoffs.
Despite the star power on display, the refs were the talking point at the end of Game 1. A number of Harden’s three-point attempts have received a lot of attention, mostly due to the way that they were defended. Klay Thompson can be seen contesting Harden’s shot illegally, as he is often taking up the “landing space” under Harden as he is in the air. On numerous occasions, Harden’s three-point shots were contested with the defender ending up under Harden. These no-calls had piled up at the end of the game, resulting in dialog between Harden and the media after the game. Many fans and spectators have chimed in, suggesting that this issue potentially changed the outcome of this close four-point game. Regardless of the outcome, this rule and its application will continue to be a talking point as this series rages on.