The Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 113-106 on Tuesday night for Dub Nation’s second win in three games against MVP candidate James Harden’s high-flying, three-point-toting Houston squad.
Friday will be the last regular season matchup between the two championship hopefuls and expect Golden State, who has taken two games at Toyota Center after losing an early season fluker back home on Dec.1, to defeat Mike D'Antoni's team soundly at Oracle Arena, leaving no doubt as to which squad is superior entering the 2017 playoff pop off.
Golden State (60-14) got off to a quick start and took a huge lead early scoring 37 first quarter points. As NBA games go, Houston made a couple of runs as well, but in the end the Warriors had too much offensive firepower and some defensive grit when it counted down the stretch. Harden recorded his 20th triple-double of the season but it meant nothing as Houston pretty much showed what would happen in a playoff series against Golden State.
Harden and the Houston hustle could possibly steal a couple of games to make a playoff series exciting, but Houston’s inability/refusal to defend and its reliance on the three-ball in the absence of historically prolific shooters makes Golden State the worst possible playoff matchup for them.
When it was time to ice the game with 1:46 left and Golden State up 107-99, Chef Curry took a couple dribbles and sized up his defender, and drained a dagger from way behind the top circle near the front of press row.
D'Antoni admitted that Houston was intimidated by Golden State's band of ball dishing and net swishing marauders.
He's definitely not going to make any defensive adjustments, so D'Antoni has to hope the shots fall at the big moments. I don’t see how Houston can continue to win games in the playoffs with that brand of ball. D’Antoni’s never won a championship with it before in pretty successful runs in Phoenix and New York. And when you have The Splash Brothers on the opposing side, let’s just say I’ve never seen them get out shot by anybody, so that would be a first. If James Harden could pull that off, he definitely deserves the MVP.