One F stands out among Warriors' grades for Game 2 loss to Rockets
Assessing the damage
HOUSTON -- As they prepared to meet Houston in the Western Conference Finals, we identified 5 Keys for the Warriors to win the series in six games or fewer. After each game, we assess how they grade out on those factors.
Here are the grades for Game 2, a 127-105 loss Monday night at Toyota Center.
1) ICE THE ARC
The defensive integrity and discipline consistently broke down in the first, allowing the Rockets to launch open looks from deep. The corners the Warriors protected so well in Game 1 were available. Houston made 10 triples in the first half alone, six from the corners. Though James Harden didn’t hurt them (3-of-15 from deep), his teammates were 13-of-27, with Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker combining for 11-of-15.
THE CHARITY STRIPE
Harden took six free throws, Chris Paul three. Those are numbers the Warriors will gladly accept every game from here on out. Though Houston still won the battle of free throws, 27-22, the difference was not enough to be pivotal.
THE CHARITY COUNT
The Warriors committed five turnovers in the first five minutes, seven in the first quarter. They looked oddly unprepared for the energy with which Houston played. The Rockets seized on it, taking the lead for good with 3:01 left in the first quarter. Houston built on that largesse, going up double digits in the second quarter. The Warriors committed 11 turnovers in the half, leading to 13 points for the Rockets. It was too much to overcome, as the Warriors never really threatened after halftime.
SC30 VS. CP3
For the second consecutive game, Stephen Curry and Chris Paul played to a virtual standoff. Both scored 16 points, shooting less than 50 percent. Curry had seven assists, Paul six. Curry had seven rebounds, Paul four. Curry made his only 3-pointer a minute into the fourth quarter, pulling the Warriors within 13. The problem is that the Warriors needed more from Curry than the Rockets needed from Paul.
The Warriors again started the Hamptons 5, which was out of sync early, partly because Draymond Green was not his usual hyper-effective self. He never found it. Neither did David West, who played only six minutes. Kevon Looney, again, did OK. The best that can be said about the performance of the “bigs” is that they didn’t let Houston center Clint Capela make much of an impact.