HOUSTON — A balanced scoring effort, career-high contributions from their non-stars and lackadaisical sloppiness/off-target shooting from their opponent — the Houston Rockets received little to none of the above in their Game 1 Western Conference finals loss to the Golden State Warriors.
But two days later, the Rockets checked off every box required to even the series against the defending champions, winning a resounding 127-105 blowout Wednesday at the Toyota Center.
Behind a playoff career-high 22 points from forward PJ Tucker, and with 27 points off the bench from guard Eric Gordon, the NBA-best Rockets led by as many as 29 points in the second half, the largest deficit Golden State has faced this postseason.
In fact, Gordon single-handedly outscored Stephen Curry (16 points) and Klay Thompson (eight points). And Rockets forward Trevor Ariza chipped in with 19 points.
All told, Ariza, Tucker and Gordon combined for 68 points after combining for just 24 in Game 1.
Houston’s steamrolling win came at the hands of an overall slipshod performance from the Warriors, who tallied just nine turnovers in Game 1 but recorded five in Wednesday’s first five minutes, setting the table for a rough night. The Warriors notched 10 turnovers in the first half and finished with 15, which led to as many Houston points.
And aside from star swingman Kevin Durant, who carried his team with a game-high 38 points, few other Warriors offered much in the way of scoring — or much else.
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