HOUSTON -- A grotesque first half gave way to a gorgeous third quarter, and the transformation delivered the Warriors to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals.
Down by as much as 15, the Warriors roared back for a 101-92 victory over the Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night at Toyota Center
Kevin Durant scored 34 points, Stephen Curry 27, Klay Thompson 19 and Draymond Green 10 as the Warriors overcame an atrocious first quarter against a Houston team without its leader, Chris Paul.
The Rockets, who die or thrive with the 3-point shot, were 1-of-21 (4.8 percent) from deep in the second half and 7-of-44 (15.9 percent) overall.
All four All-Stars came through in one form or another, but Durant recovered from a mediocre first half to play perhaps his best all-around game of the series.
Durant’s line: 34 points (11-of-21 shooting, including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc, 7-of-10 from the line), five rebounds, five assists and three blocks. He played 44 minutes and finished plus-10.
After the Rockets took a 56-43 lead on a layup by James Harden 56 seconds into the second half, the Warriors responded with a 29-7 run, going up 72-63 on a 3-pointer by Curry with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors outscored Houston 33-15 in the quarter, taking a 76-69 lead into the fourth. Their second half was in stark contrast to their first, when they committed 10 turnovers and were outrebounded 26-17.
Houston got no closer than six in the fourth.
Warriors: C/F Kevon Looney (L toe soreness) was listed as probable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. F Andre Iguodala (L lateral leg bone bruise) was listed as out.
Rockets: G Chris Paul (R hamstring strain) was listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff.
The NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers begin Thursday, with Game 1 set for 6 p.m. at Oracle Arena.
|Game 1||Warriors 119, Rockets 106|
|Game 2||Rockets 127, Warriors 105|
|Game 3||Warriors 126, Rockets 85|
|Game 4||Rockets 95, Warriors 92|
|Game 5||Rockets 98, Warriors 94|
|Game 6||Warriors 115, Rockets 86|
|Game 7||Warriors 101, Rockets 92|