The Golden State Warriors, slow start and all, are taking the Houston Rockets the distance.
Despite trailing by 17 points after the first quarter, the Warriors produced a vintage third-quarter response and defeated the Rockets, 115-86, at Oracle Arena on Friday night to stretch the Western Conference Finals to a Game 7.
Klay Thompson (35 points), Stephen Curry (29 points) and Kevin Durant (23 points) did the heavy lifting for Golden State, while James Harden (32 points, nine assists, seven rebounds) did all he could to try to keep the Rockets afloat with Chris Paul sidelined because of a sore right hamstring.
The Kevin Durant era in the Bay Area hasn’t been defined by adversity, to say the least.
The Warriors coasted through the 2017 postseason with a 16-1 record, and they needed a total of 10 games to dispatch the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans in the first two rounds this year.
The Rockets, though, have posed a different challenge entirely. That much was clear in Game 4 at Oracle Arena, and it was clear again Thursday at Toyota Center when the Rockets won Game 5.
And after erupting for 39 points authentic nfl jerseys cheap in the first quarter of Game 6, the Rockets looked like the aggressors again while the Warriors scrambled for answers on both ends.
At that point, it would have been easy for Golden State to panic.
But facing their first elimination game since the 2016 Finals, the defending champions showed some serious mental fortitude and responded by outscoring the Rockets, 93-47, over the final 36 minutes.
Come June, James Harden will likely have nfl jerseys for cheap the 2017-18 MVP Award stationed on his mantle.
But in order to place a shiny new championship ring next to that hardware, he’s going to have to come up with the signature postseason performance that’s long been missing as a line item on his otherwise pristine resume.
Harden appeared to be working his way toward that moment Saturday when he had 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds at halftime. However, the Rockets collectively ran out of steam in the second half and Harden didn’t have much help in the playmaking department with Paul sidelined.
Now the pressure is on.
And sure, that might be unfair to Harden considering the Rockets are being forced to adjust on the fly and adapt under a trying set of circumstances. cheap nfl jerseys
But in a league where legacies are measured by clutch performances in the brightest spotlights, Harden has a golden opportunity in front of him to defy the odds and solidify himself as a giant slayer.
Consider the stage set for a historic night.
Rockets’ Obsession With Warriors to Face Biggest Test nfl jersey cheap
In December, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told ESPN’s Ryen Russillo the Rockets had a singular goal: Figuring out how to take down the Warriors.