This week's NBA Conference Finals saw the Warriors beat the Rockets for the first game of their series to steal home court, despite a heroic effort from James Harden. Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics Beat Cavaliers to advance 2–0.
Warriors Defeat Rockets in Houston 119-106 in Game 1
It took the Houston Rockets the entire regular season to secure the first seed and the home court advantage that came with it. All that work was undone in 48 minutes, as the Golden State Warriors stole a win on the Rockets' home court on Monday night, May 14.
The defending champs had a somewhat shaky start as coach Steve Kerr went to the expected opening lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, as Warriors NBA recapped the game.
Kerr's plan to start Iguodala early met with a few issues, right from the first quarter when Green got cited for a technical while Iguodala picked up two fouls too early. James Harden, who went on to become the highest scoring player on Monday night for his 41 points, was simply too much for his assigned defenders.
Still, 37 points from Durant and 28 from Thompson easily sealed the deal for Golden State. Stephen Curry, who was limited to 18 points and one out of five from the arc, now looks forward to the home game this Wednesday, May 16, in Oracle Arena.
"It's a big win for us tonight, but there's a lot of work to do," the two-time MVP said.
Celtics Beat Cavaliers 107-94 in Boston to Lead 2-0
Celtics' victory on Tuesday night, May 15, also capped a still unbroken string of homecourt wins this postseason for Boston. The Celtics also now holds a 2–0 lead over the defending Eastern Conference champs as the series heads to Cleveland on Saturday night, May 19.
Even with Lebron James pouring in 42 points in another heroic effort to lift his team, the Celtics was able to overcome a seven-point deficit in the first half and went on to outscore Cleveland 36–22 by the third quarter, as CBS Boston summed up last night's game.
With this outcome, this is now the second time that the Celtics have held the Cavs to under 100, and they are doing it without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, as well. Team effort is the key here, with Terry Rozier leading the comeback in the second half.
Jaylen Brown led the team with 23 points, but six Celtics were in the double digits by the time the final buzzer sounded. Al Horford and Marcus Morris kept up the offensive pressure, while Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum brought the hustle to keep the team's play going even after misses.
Both teams will now have two days to rest before Game 3 sends the series back to Cleveland this Saturday.