The Golden State Warriors made a big statement and greatly swung the odds in their favor with a 119-106 road victory to open their long-anticipated Western Conference Finals showdown with the Houston Rockets.
Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors in Game 1 with 37 points (14-of 27 FG; 6-of-6 FT) and an array of highly difficult shots. Being nearly a 7’0″ footer with guard skills makes him borderline impossible to guard.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 15, 2018
The Warriors are now 25-3 in the Playoffs with Kevin Durant. They've never had a series go even 6 games.
— (((Ian Hest))) (@IanHest) May 15, 2018
Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson also dropped 28 points and hit six threes.
The Rockets were viewed as arguably the best team the Warriors have seen over this incredible four-year run, and the numbers backed that up. But the Rockets may not have been able to afford this home loss, and have now lost the home-court advantage they viewed as so crucial to obtain.
The Rockets won 65 games this year and their best player went off in Game 1 and they lost by double digits. Warriors ain't fair
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) May 15, 2018
Rockets went hard all regular season to get home court advantage and lost it in 48 minutes tonight while being reminded that the Warriors are actually unfair
— Jordan Kaplan (@JKap415) May 15, 2018
The Rockets – a team specifically engineered to out-Warrior the Warriors – pushed like hell to win 65 games and get that top seed to secure home court advantage … and like that it’s gone.
— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) May 15, 2018
James Harden dropped 41.
The Warriors won by 13.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 15, 2018
Even if Houston wins Game 2 to even up the series, the best-of-five would give Golden State three home games (if necessary) at Oracle Arena and that’s going to provide an incredibly difficult challenge for the Rockets.
Charles Barkley says “Warriors in 3”, and TNT’s Ernie Johnson informed Klay Thompson of that prediction.