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?

Andre Iguodala doubtful for Game 4 against Rockets

Andre Iguodala doubtful for Game 4 against Rockets

OAKLAND -- After five games together in the starting lineup for the Warriors, the Hamptons 5 are in jeopardy of temporarily breaking up.

It’s likely that forward Andre Iguodala, experiencing soreness in his left knee after a collision in Game 3 on Sunday, will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night against the Rockets.

Iguodala was held out of practice Monday and is listed as doubtful on the Warriors injury report. An X-ray is anticipated, according to a team spokesman.

Iguodala entered the starting lineup in Game 4 of the conference semifinals at New Orleans, joining Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the debut of the Hamptons 5 as a starting unit. All five also started Game 5 against the Pelicans and the first three games against Houston.

If Iguodala is unable to play, it will have a dramatic effect not only on the starting lineup but also on the playing rotations utilized by Warriors coach Steve Kerr. Among the options to start are center/forward Kevon Looney, guard/forward Nick Young. Rookie center/forward Jordan Bell also could be considered.

None of the possible replacements brings the same package of intuition, athleticism and intangibles as Iguodala, who over the last five games averaged 27.2 minutes.

“When we focus in and are flying around and playing extremely hard and anticipating really well, seeing things before they happen, we’re a really good team,” Durant said after practice. “And Andre is a guy that does that night in and night out for us. We feed off his energy. We feed off his athletic plays, his team plays, whether it’s getting a steal, getting a deflection, getting a hockey assist, that stuff makes us feel good.”

The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Game 3. Iguodala was defending Rockets star James Harden, and the two banged knees as Harden was driving into the paint. Iguodala immediately began clutching his knee. He remained in the game for nearly a full minute, was replaced by Looney with 6:49 left and did not return.

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Warriors 126, Rockets 85
Game 4 Oakland -- Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm
Game 5 Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6pm
Game 6 Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6pm
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm

Dell Curry weighs in on his son's Game 3 breakthrough: 'The MVP, a shooter like Steph...'

Dell Curry weighs in on his son's Game 3 breakthrough: 'The MVP, a shooter like Steph...'

Dell Curry knows a thing or two about shooting the basketball.

Steph Curry's father made 1,245 3-pointers in his career -- the 54th most in NBA history.

On Monday morning, Dell joined KNBR 680 to talk about Steph's breakthrough from distance in Game 3.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: 'This is my fu**ing house' -- Curry explodes in Game 3]

"Obviously you want to keep shooting and then you want to remember that you're the best in the world at what you do," Dell explained. "Gotta give Houston some credit -- they ran him off the 3-point line. That's why he was getting to the rim because they would not allow him to get open looks...

"All it takes sometimes is one game, couple shots to go down, get some transition buckets and then you're off and running.

"Houston -- their game plan was good the first couple of games at home. But the MVP, a shooter like Steph, it's really hard to keep him in check for three games in a row."

Curry was held in check in the first half -- 9 points on 3-for-11 from the field, including 1-for-7 from deep.

He erupted for 18 points in the third quarter and finished the second half with 26 points on 10-for-12 overall.

And in case you were curious, Steph's daughters -- Riley and Ryan -- call their grandpa Dell...

"G-Daddy."

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