Warriors

In Game 2, Warriors aim to accomplish feat for first time since 1989

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In Game 2, Warriors aim to accomplish feat for first time since 1989

HOUSTON -- It has been 29 years since the Warriors opened a playoff series on the road with back-to-back wins. That’s the goal Wednesday night, when they face the Rockets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

In taking Game 1 on Monday, the Warriors seized homecourt advantage. If they take Game 2, it’ll be the first time they opened with consecutive road victories since 1989, when they won the first two games of a first-round series at Utah en route to a three-game sweep of the best-of-five series.

Moreover, it would put the Warriors in control of the best-of-seven series, which moves to Oracle Arena this weekend.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: Curry's defense on Harden; Rockets smart to attack Looney?]

BETTING LINE

Rockets by 1.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Kevin Durant vs. James Harden: These two won’t defend each other very often, but whichever star has the more effective overall game gives his team a decided advantage. Harden outscored Durant (41-37) in Game 1 but also committed twice as many turnovers (4-2) and was a welcome mat on defense while Durant played mostly solid defense.

[RELATED: James Harden: Rockets 'in this together; I can't do it by myself']

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Pat McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) is listed as out.

Rockets: No injuries reported.

GAME OFFICIALS

Ken Mauer, David Guthrie, Ed Malloy, Pat Fraher (alternate)

ROAD TO THE CONFERENCE FINALS

Warriors: Defeated San Antonio in five games in the first round, defeated New Orleans in five games in the conference semifinals.

Rockets: Defeated Minnesota in five games in the first round, defeated Utah in five games in the conference semifinals.

SERIES HISTORY

The teams met three times in the regular season, with Houston posting a 122-121 win on Oct. 17 at Oakland, the Warriors taking a 124-114 victory on Jan. 4 at Houston and the Rockets prevailing 116-108 on Jan. 20 in Houston. The Warriors have won 12 of the last 15 meetings in the regular season.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

HOUSTON’S D: Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is not generally associated with defense, but his team finished sixth in defensive rating in the regular season and is third in the playoffs. Defense was absent in Game 1, as the Warriors scored 54 points off uncontested shots while shooting 52.5 percent.

CURRY’S RHYTHM: Five games into his return after a long layoff, Stephen Curry continues to seek rhythm and timing. His movements have gotten better, but he clearly is not at his physical peak. He appeared to tweak his left knee in Game 1 but insists it’s a non-issue. He’s still worth keeping on eye on.

WARRIORS DISCIPLINE: While the Rockets were running isolation plays for either James Harden or Chris Paul, who combined for 64 points, they didn’t get much help. Corner shooters PJ Tucker, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute combined to go 3-of-17 from the field. Credit the Warriors for being disciplined. Can they repeat that?

DeMarcus Cousins unfazed over potential backlash from joining Warriors

DeMarcus Cousins unfazed over potential backlash from joining Warriors

Do you want to know what the NBA free agency process was like for DeMarcus Cousins?

If yes, you're in luck.

SHOWTIME Sports is in production on a documentary that gives you an inside look at how Cousins ended up signing with the Warriors.

On Wednesday, a preview clip was released (watch the full video below).

"This is my ace of spade, this was my nuclear bomb, my last resort," Cousins said. "Yeah, I could have probably got a contract -- a decent contract -- from a bad team. But how does that help me?

"I'm already fighting a career-ending injury. I'm not gonna put myself in an already-bad situation and try to prove my value or my worth as a player in a situation that's not looking to win.

"I knew how it would be perceived by some. I didn't give a f**k. ... I knew what my ace was, and we made the call."

Cousins' introductory press conference is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. Watch it live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Isaiah Thomas cites 'loyalty' in reaction to Raptors trading DeMar DeRozan

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USATSI

Isaiah Thomas cites 'loyalty' in reaction to Raptors trading DeMar DeRozan

Isaiah Thomas knows a thing or two about getting traded against his wishes.

Last August, the Celtics blindsided the 2016-17 All-NBA Second Team selection by shipping him to the Cavs.

On Wednesday, the Raptors traded DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard.

DeRozan is not happy about this:

One can only assume that the following tweet from Thomas is his reaction to the deal:

The concept of "loyalty in the NBA" heated up after Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City for the Warriors.

During the 2017 playoffs, Thomas played through the tragic death of his sister and battled through a hip injury.

He absolutely loved Boston and wanted to finish his career there.

The 29-year old thought he was line for a max deal from the Celtics, and instead he winded up signing for the veteran's minimum this summer with the Nuggets.

Perhaps the NBPA will fight for more "no-trade clauses" in the next CBA...?

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller