The Houston Rockets played like a totally different team in their statement win against the Warriors. Here are three things that we learned from Game 2.
After the Rockets lost Game 1 at home, a lot of basketball analysts were ready to get the brooms out. In fact, Charles Barkley sarcastically predicted that the Warriors would win this series in three games.
After losing their home court advantage, the Rockets knew that they had to respond. And respond they did.
Houston was firing on all cylinders on both ends of the floor. The Rockets forced Golden State into seven turnovers in the first quarter. The Rockets were able to turn those early mistakes into easy buckets on the other end and Houston took a 64-50 lead into halftime.
Golden State is the best third quarter team in the NBA, and they usually gain a lot of ground on their opponents after halftime. But Houston rode a 10 point third quarter from Chris Paul and they were able to increase the lead to 16 points heading into the final quarter.
Eric Gordon nailed two big 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to hold off a potential Warriors run. That was followed by a layup from James Harden. Then, P.J. Tucker, Harden and Gordon nailed 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions.
After the onslaught, Houston led Golden State 119-91 with about five minutes left. Steve Kerr responded by pulling his starters and essentially waving the white flag.
Before Game 2, Mike D’Antoni said that the Rockets wouldn’t change their offense. Indeed, the Rockets kept their usual style, but there were a few noticeable adjustments on both sides of the ball. Here are three things that we learned from Game 2.
Next: No. 3