By: Kylan Watson
The Golden State Warriors were riding high after avoiding being eliminated in Game 6 on Saturday night by the Houston Rockets. The Warriors had a very tough task in front of them, they had to beat the Rockets in Houston to make it to their fourth straight Finals. The Warriors answered the bell after a sluggish start, but eventually the talent of the Warriors overpowered the offensive fire power and the defensive scheme of the Rockets.
The Warriors did not start the game off well. They could not buy a shot in the opening minutes of the first quarter. The Warriors also missed a lot of defensive assignments and did not defend the pick and roll well. Despite the Warriors sluggish start, they still were down by 11-points at half-time.
The Rockets on the other hand could not miss from the opening tip-off, they were hitting all their shots in the first-half. Attacking the paint played a huge role in the Rockets offense. They used their inside scoring to open opportunities from the three-point line. The players that benefitted the most from this game-plan were Rockets Guard, James Harden and Center Clint Capela.
Harden was playing like a man possessed during this game he scored 22 of his 32-points by half-time. He played a huge role in getting his teammates involved in the game. A big beneficiary of Harden’s unselfish play was Clint Capela. Capela scored 20-points and grabbed nine rebounds. Harden finished with 32-points, grabbed six rebounds, and had six assists.
Harden and Capela played a huge role in helping the Rockets get an 11-point half-time lead over the Warriors. However, the Rockets offensive prowess did not carry over to the second-half.
The Rockets could not buy a basket in the second-half. The Warriors must have made some very good half-time adjustments. They stopped the Rockets from attacking the paint and made them rely on the three-point shot. The Rockets could not answer the challenge, they missed 27 straight three-pointers.
The Warriors on the other hand used an offensive surge in the third quarter to take a commanding lead. The third quarter was the defining period in this series. The Warriors attacked the paint and were able to hit some tough three-point shots to take the lead. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were the players that helped the Warriors take the lead and hold off the Rockets.
Curry scored 27 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had 10 assists. Curry was the person who hit big shots for the Warriors and his unselfish play helped get his teammates involved in the game. Curry may have helped the Warriors get the lead, but Durant was the closer for the Warriors.
The 2017 NBA Finals MVP was able to hit big shots when the Warriors needed them the most, and even though Durant did not play well in the first-half. He more than made up for it by scoring a game-high 34 points, hitting some clutch shots, and making some great defensive plays to help the Warriors advance, to their fourth straight NBA Finals by a score of 101-92.