Rockets get everything they need to top Warriors, even series

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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Egg Salada With Endive Leaves

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Ingredients

6 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
15g (1/2oz) finely chopped onion
15g (1/2oz) finely chopped celery stalks
15g (1/2oz) chopped fresh parsley
Salt and white pepper to taste
24 endive spears, separated
Paprika for garnish

Steps

Mix the mayonnaise and mustard in a medium-size bowl.  Add the chopped eggs, onion, celery and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover the egg salad with cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Place the egg salad in a serving bowl on a platter surrounded with the endive spears.  Dust with paprika for colour.


Fennel-and Garlic-Crusted Pork Roast

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Ingredients

1 small head fennel, coarsely chopped
30g (1oz) coarsely chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
15g (1/2oz) chopped fresh assorted herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley, oregano, etc.)
2 tsp fennel seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
2kg (4lb 8oz) pork rib roast, tied
Salt

Steps

1. In a blender or food processor, combine the fennel, onion, olive oil and garlic; puree into a paste.  Add the herbs, fennel seeds and pepper; blend to combine.
2. With a small sharp knife, make shallow diamond cuts into the skin of the pork roast.  Season it all over with salt, rubbing it in well.  Rub the garlic-fennel paste over the roast to cover it with a layer about 6mm (1/4in) thick.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.  Remove from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 190c, 375f, gas mark 5.
4. Transfer the roast to a roasting pan with a rack.  Roast for about i hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 65c, 150f.  Remove the roast from the oven and allow to stand for at least 20 minutes.  Slice the roast into thick chops.


Spicy Cucumber Relish

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Ingredients

2 seedless mayonnaise
2 medium shallots, peeled and trimmed
1 1/2 tbsp chopped jalapeño pepper
60g (2oz) fresh mint, chopped medium-fine
2 tbsp white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

Steps

1. Peel the cucumbers.  Cut in half longways, remove any seeds and cut across into 3mm (1/8in) slices.
2. Combine the cucumbers, shallots, jalapeño and mint.  In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil until combined.  Pour over the cucumbers, and toss gently to combine.  Serve.


Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

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Ingredients

500ml (16fl oz) plain low-fat yoggart
30g (1oz) chopped fresh coriander
60ml (2fl oz) fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
900g (2lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 25mm (1in) cubes
4 medium-sized red peppers, cut into 25mm (1in) pieces
16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Steps

1. Puree the first 10 ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Pour 125ml (4fl oz) of the mixture into a small bowl, cover and chill.  Pour the remaining mixture into a large bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
2. Preheat a grill to medium-high.  Make sure the grill grate is clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking.
3. Thread the red peppers and chicken on skewers.  Grill the kebabs until the chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes per side.  Serve with the reserved yogurt mixture for dipping.


Chili Cheese Corn Casserole

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Ingredients

680g (1lb 8oz) fresh corn kernels, or frozen, thawed and drained
125g (4oz) grated Cheddar cheese
225g (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
215g (7oz) tin diced green chillies
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin

Steps

1. Preheat the oven to 180c, 350f, gas mark 4.  Butter at 1.251 (40fl oz) baking dish.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish; bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes,  Let cool, then cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.  To serve, gently reheat, covered, in a 180c, 350f, gas mark 4 oven for about 30 minutes until heated throughout.  


Grilled Beef And Onion Kebabs

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Ingredients

4 tsp finely ground coriander seeds
4 tsp finely ground anise seeds
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
125ml (4fl oz) olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
680g (1 lb 8 oz) boneless sirloin steak, trimmed, cut into 32mm (1 1/4in) cubes
12 red pearl onions, peeled and cut in half longways

Steps

1. Preheat the grill until hot.
2. Place the ground coriander and anise seeds in a medium-sized bowl.  Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper and 60ml (2fl oz) olive oil.  Season the marinade with salt and pepper, and stir until combined.  Add the sirloin cubes, and stir to coat; set aside.
3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the onions and the remaining olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
4. Divide the steaks among four skewers; thread, leaving 12mm (1/2 in) between each cube.  Divide the onions among another four skewers and thread them.
5. Grill the sirloin kebabs until well-browned and medium-rare, and grill the onion until glistening, tender and slightly charred, 5-7 minutes for both.  Serve on the skewers.


Macaroni Royale

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Ingredients

2 cups macaroni, cooked, drained
1/2 cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained
1/2 cup canned fruit cocktail, drained
1/2 cup red gelatin or gulaman, cubed
1/2 cup sweetened kaong, canned or cooked, drained
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Nestle cream or 1 cup soyannaise
Sugar to taste
Dash of salt
Lettuce

Steps

1. Mix all ingredients gently.
2. Serve on a bed of lettuce.
3. Chill before serving.

Note: If gulaman bar is used, dissolve 1 bar into 2 1/2 cups of water.  If sachet is used, just follow instruction on label.


Marble Salad

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Ingredients

2 cups grapes, seedless, whole
2 cups red sago, cooked
1 cup orange sago cooked
1 cup sweetened kaong, cooked or canned, drained
1 cup all-purpose cream or 1 1/2 cups soyacream
1/2 evaporated milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup bite-sized multicolored marshmallow

Steps

1. Mix all ingredients except marshmallows.
2. Chill before serving.
3. Add marshmallows before serving.