Rockets strike back, rout sluggish Warriors in Game 2


Rockets strike back, rout sluggish Warriors in Game 2


HOUSTON -- Sloppy and defensively disengaged from the start, the Warriors never gathered momentum Wednesday night in a 127-105 loss to the energized Rockets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

The best-of-seven series is now tied at 1-1.

Kevin Durant poured in a game-high 38 points, but got little scoring help. Stephen Curry, with 16 points, was the only other Warrior to reach double figures.

The Warriors committed 15 turnovers, off which Houston scored 15 points. Houston scored 13 points on 11 first-half turnovers.

An even bigger issue for the Warriors was 3-point defense. The Rockets were 16-of-42 from deep, and 10-of-23 while seizing control in the first half.

On a night when the Warriors struggled mightily on offense, Durant was the lone exception. He was the reason why the Warriors weren’t completely blown out.

Durant’s line: 38 points (13-of-22 shooting from the field, 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, 9-of-9 from the line) and three rebounds. He played 35 minutes and finished an eye-popping minus-28.

After the Warriors closed within five, 40-35, on a Klay Thompson 3-pointer with 6:56 left in the second quarter, the Rockets came back with a 20-7 run, going up 60-42 on a layup by Eric Gordon with 2:28 left in the half.

Houston took a 64-50 lead into the second half. The Warriors trailed by double digits over the entire second half.

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

Rockets: No injuries reported.

Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at Oracle Arena. Coverage begins on NBC Sports Bay Area Plus with Warriors Outsiders at 3:30pm PT and continues at 4pm PT with Warriors Playoff Central. After the final buzzer, tune to NBC Sports Bay Area for complete reaction and analysis on Warriors Playoff Central.

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Oakland -- Sunday, May 20th at 5pm
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

Draymond Green tries his hand at scouting during latest Warriors Draft workout


Draymond Green tries his hand at scouting during latest Warriors Draft workout

OAKLAND -- The Warriors on Tuesday brought in six more draft hopefuls, who went through drills under the watchful eyes of the five most significant layers of the team.

CEO Joe Lacob was there, as was general manager Bob Myers, assistant GM/chief scout Larry Harris, assistant coach Ron Adams and...forward Draymond Green.

This is a glimpse into the inner workings of the Warriors, a hoops democracy in which every voice is given a chance to be heard.

It’s conceivable, though, that no one’s words carried more weight than those of Green, who continues to prove his value to the franchise goes beyond defending, rebounding, playmaking and scoring.

“Who am I to say I know more than Draymond Green about basketball?” Myers asked. “It probably is the other way around. If you want somebody whose opinion holds some weight ... he watches college. He comes to the workouts. So maybe he should make the pick.”

Myers wasn’t entirely serious about that, but he’s also not dismissing the possibility.

“When he speaks,” Myers said, “we give him the gravity that his comments deserve.”

Few if any players in the NBA can dissect and analyze the game as effectively as Green, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and a noted video student. It’s also conceivable that no one knows better than Green what the Warriors need to become a better team next season.

“Draymond’s been here the last three days,” Harris said. “He was in a meeting with us in our draft room for a couple hours yesterday. He would tell you he was bored. But that’s OK. We’re glad he’s here and he really does care and wants to know.”

None of the players at the team facility Tuesday is a lock to be drafted. Guard Svi Mykhailluk (Kansas), and forwards Gary Clark (Cincinnati) and Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame) project as possible second-round picks.

The Warriors own the 28th overall pick but are considering buying a second-rounder for the third consecutive season. They took Pat McCaw (No. 38 overall) in 2016 and Jordan Bell (38th) last season. Green was chosen in the second round (35th) in 2012 and has become a core member of a three-time championship team.

“To have a guy like him, who is a three-time champion, care about who we’re taking at 28 shows great leadership,” Myers said. “I’m sure the players look over there and say, ‘That’s Draymond Green.’ He was a 35th pick. It’s motivation for those guys.”

Draft prospect Michael Porter Jr says he's 'a little more physical' than Kevin Durant

Draft prospect Michael Porter Jr says he's 'a little more physical' than Kevin Durant

Michael Porter Jr. is...

... a confident soon-to-be 20-year old (his birthday is June 29).

How do we know this? Well, he said the following to Damon Amendolara of CBS Sports:

"Right now, I would say I'm a mix of Giannis and KD. I like going to the hole a little more than KD does. I like bumping into people; a little more physical than KD.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: Joe Lacob takes inventory; Melvin Frazier loves playing defense]

"But I like to shoot the ball a little more than Giannis. So that's what I like to compare myself to -- and also Tracy McGrady. I get compared to him a lot, and I like that one a lot, too.

"Those are three amazing players. It doesn't feel bad to be in the same conversation as them."

More physical than Kevin Durant, eh?

The 2017 and 2018 Finals MVP averaged 7.2 free throw attempts per game in the 2018 playoffs.

Who do you think is more looking forward to facing Porter next season -- Durant or Draymond Green?

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