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Durant's 35 points carry Warriors past Rockets in Game 1

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Steve Kerr saw his share of spectacular postseason performances playing alongside one of the greatest ever.

''There was this guy named Michael, I can't remember his last name,'' the Golden State coach cracked in reference to former Bulls teammate Michael Jordan.

Kevin Durant is having a superb postseason run of his own.

Durant scored 35 points in outdueling James Harden and the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 104-100 on Sunday in the opener of what is shaping up to be a sensational best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.

''When he's being as aggressive as he's been, I don't think there's anyone in the NBA, maybe the world who can stop him,'' Draymond Green said of the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP.

Houston's Chris Paul was ejected with 4.4 seconds left for a second technical, though he said afterward he wasn't sure what he did wrong - and he wouldn't say whether he made contact with official Josh Tiven while arguing.

''I don't know yet. Nobody told me. He just called a tech,'' said Paul, who had rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Harden that could have tied the game with 9 seconds left and was arguing for a foul.

Green added 14 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for the two-time defending champion Warriors, who are meeting the Rockets in the postseason for the fourth time in five years, with Houston having never been victorious.

Game 2 is Tuesday night back at Oracle Arena.

Harden scored 35 points and Eric Gordon 27 after both struggled early. The Rockets shot 14 for 47 from long range.

Harden, who shot 9 for 28 and 4 of 16 on 3s, wasn't shy about his frustration with the officiating and the lack of foul calls on Houston's 3-point tries.

''I just want a fair chance, man. Call the game how it's supposed to be called and that's it, and I'll live with the results,'' Harden said.

Told of Harden's remarks, Green said: ''Huh? I've been fouled by James on a James 3-pointer before. I ain't trying to hear that.''

Harden's three-point play with 40 seconds left pulled Houston within 100-98. Stephen Curry knocked down a 3 on the other end over Nene moments later and finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Durant, who had combined for 95 points the previous two games against the Clippers, shot 11 for 25 and made 12 of 15 free throws in his fifth straight 30-point playoff performance - matching his career-best streak accomplished from June 1-12, 2017.

''Kevin's run these last couple weeks has just been off the charts,'' Kerr said. ''I've said it a few times this week, he's the most skilled basketball player on earth. He's one of the most skilled basketball players to ever play the game.''

Durant said he was ''just tailor made for the moment, I guess.''

''I'm starting to put everything together on both sides of the ball,'' he added.

Technical fouls on Paul and Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni 2.1 seconds apart in the final minute of the third allowed the Warriors to take an 83-76 lead into the final 12 minutes after Durant converted the free throws.

''They're real costly,'' D'Antoni said.

Klay Thompson scored 13 points on a sprained right ankle.

Both Curry and Thompson had been listed as questionable nursing tender right ankles after they each sprained them in Game 6 against the Clippers on Friday night. Curry was cleared beforehand but Thompson had to go through warmups before Golden State's medical staff determined he was fine to play.

''Yesterday was a long day, in the treatment room for a long time,'' Curry said.

Kerr went with Andre Iguodala over 7-foot center Andrew Bogut in the starting five to go smaller out of the gates against the Rockets. He plans to stick with it for Game 2.

''That's our best lineup,'' Kerr said.

These West powerhouses fought through a seven-game series in last year's Western Conference finals, when Golden State rallied from a 3-2 deficit to win Game 7 on Houston's home floor.

Paul is on a mission after he sat out the final two games because of an injured right hamstring he hurt in Game 5. He had 17 points Sunday.

The Rockets missed their final 27 3-pointers in the deciding 2018 game and came out cold again, missing their first eight from deep before Harden connected at the 4:35 mark of the first.

DEFENDING KD

Durant scored 45 and a playoff career-high 50 points his previous two games against the Clippers.

''You're assuming you can defend him,'' D'Antoni said before the game. ''That's an assumption nobody knows yet.''

With his first basket, Durant (1,281) passed Wilt Chamberlain (1,246) for fifth place on the Warriors' postseason scoring list.

Durant now has 3,901 career playoff points, passing Larry Bird (3,897) for 11th place.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Houston is 5-13 against the Warriors in the playoffs dating to the 2015 postseason. ... The Rockets were without reserve guard Austin Rivers because of an illness.

Warriors: An MRI exam on Thompson's ankle Saturday showed no significant damage. ... The Warriors are 17-1 in Game 1s dating to the 2015 title run, losing a series opener only in the 2016 Western Conference finals vs. Oklahoma City when Durant was still on the Thunder. ... DeMarcus Cousins sat on the bench for the first time since tearing his left quadriceps muscle in Game 2 vs. Los Angeles.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:47 +2 Draymond Green made layup, assist by Andre Iguodala 0-2
11:28   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:25   Defensive rebound by Andre Iguodala  
11:11 +2 Draymond Green made jump shot 0-4
10:47 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot 2-4
10:28 +2 Klay Thompson made turnaround jump shot, assist by Andre Iguodala 2-6
10:16   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:14   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
9:53   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
9:46   Shooting foul on Andre Iguodala  
9:46 +1 Clint Capela made 1st of 2 free throws 3-6
9:46 +1 Clint Capela made 2nd of 2 free throws 4-6
9:34   Lost ball turnover on Kevin Durant, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
9:27   Shooting foul on Klay Thompson  
9:27 +1 Eric Gordon made free throw 7-6
9:13   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
9:02   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
8:46   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:30   Shooting foul on James Harden  
8:30 +1 Stephen Curry made 1st of 2 free throws 7-9
8:30 +1 Stephen Curry made 2nd of 2 free throws 7-10
8:08   GS team rebound  
8:01   Out of bounds turnover on Draymond Green  
7:44   Shooting foul on Andre Iguodala  
7:44 +1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 8-10
7:44 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 9-10
7:21 +2 Draymond Green made finger-roll layup, assist by Klay Thompson 9-12
7:04   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
6:58   Out of bounds turnover on Klay Thompson  
6:40   Offensive foul on Danuel House Jr.  
6:40   Turnover on Danuel House Jr.  
6:32   Lost ball turnover on Kevon Looney, stolen by Nene  
6:18   James Harden missed driving layup  
6:16   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
6:13 +2 Draymond Green made layup 9-14
6:02   Defensive rebound by Kevon Looney  
6:02   Personal foul on Nene  
5:54 +2 Kevin Durant made floating jump shot 9-16
5:35   P.J. Tucker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:31   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
5:26   Offensive foul on Kevon Looney  
5:22   Personal foul on Kevin Durant  
5:16   Lost ball turnover on James Harden, stolen by Kevon Looney  
5:11   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by Nene  
5:01   Danuel House Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:57 +2 Nene made dunk 11-16
4:49   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:48   HOU team rebound  
4:36 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 14-16
4:23   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by Nene  
4:13   James Harden missed driving layup  
4:03   Defensive rebound by Danuel House Jr.  
3:47   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
3:44   Out of bounds turnover on Stephen Curry  
3:26   Shooting foul on Alfonzo McKinnie  
3:26 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 3 free throws 16-16
3:26 +1 James Harden made 3rd of 3 free throws 17-16
3:10   Kevin Durant missed jump shot  
3:04   Defensive rebound by Iman Shumpert  
2:56   Defensive rebound by Alfonzo McKinnie  
2:38 +2 Kevon Looney made layup, assist by Draymond Green 17-18
2:11 +2 Eric Gordon made driving layup 19-18
1:53 +2 Kevon Looney made jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 19-20
1:29   Defensive rebound by Alfonzo McKinnie  
1:22 +2 Kevon Looney made dunk, assist by Draymond Green 19-22
1:08   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
0:55 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Shaun Livingston 19-25
0:42   Bad pass turnover on Chris Paul, stolen by Shaun Livingston  
0:30   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:29   Out of bounds turnover on Eric Gordon  
0:20 +3 Kevin Durant made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 19-28
0:01   Chris Paul missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   HOU team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:47 +3 Iman Shumpert made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 22-28
11:25   Kevin Durant missed floating jump shot  
11:18 +2 Eric Gordon made layup, assist by Chris Paul 24-28
11:06   Violation  
11:06   Personal foul on Iman Shumpert  
10:54   Klay Thompson missed floating jump shot  
10:47   Offensive rebound by Andrew Bogut  
10:53   Andrew Bogut missed dunk  
10:46   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
10:33   P.J. Tucker missed dunk  
10:30   Defensive rebound by Alfonzo McKinnie  
10:27   Kevin Durant missed jump shot, blocked by Eric Gordon  
10:26   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
10:12   Defensive rebound by Andrew Bogut  
10:05 +2 Kevin Durant made driving dunk 24-30
9:50 +2 Chris Paul made jump shot 26-30
9:37   Lost ball turnover on Kevin Durant, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
9:37   Personal foul on Andrew Bogut  
9:28   Iman Shumpert missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:26   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
9:14   Klay Thompson missed turnaround jump shot  
9:13   Offensive rebound by Andrew Bogut  
8:53   Bad pass turnover on James Harden, stolen by Kevin Durant  
8:45   Klay Thompson missed jump shot  
8:44   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
8:36   Personal foul on Andrew Bogut  
8:28 +3 Chris Paul made 3-pt. jump shot 29-32
8:14   Out of bounds turnover on Klay Thompson  
7:59   Out of bounds turnover on Chris Paul  
7:38   Kevin Durant missed jump shot  
7:37   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
7:20   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
7:19   Defensive rebound by Klay Thompson  
7:13 +3 Klay Thompson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 29-35
6:56 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 32-35
6:28 +2 Draymond Green made jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 32-37
6:10 +2 Nene made turnaround jump shot, assist by James Harden 34-37
5:52 +3 Klay Thompson made 3-pt. jump shot 34-40
5:35   Shooting foul on Kevin Durant  
5:35 +1 Nene made 1st of 2 free throws 35-40
5:35 +1 Nene made 2nd of 2 free throws 36-40
5:26 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot 36-43
5:02 +3 Danuel House Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 39-43
4:50 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 39-45
4:36   Personal foul on Stephen Curry  
4:22   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
4:11 +2 Andre Iguodala made alley-oop shot, assist by Draymond Green 39-47
3:45 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 42-47
3:37 +2 Andre Iguodala made reverse layup, assist by Stephen Curry 42-49
3:13   Shooting foul on Stephen Curry  
3:13   Shooting foul on Stephen Curry  
3:13   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
3:13 +1 Chris Paul made free throw 43-49
3:13   Eric Gordon missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:13   HOU team rebound  
3:13 +1 Eric Gordon made 2nd of 2 free throws 44-49
3:02 +2 Stephen Curry made finger-roll layup 44-51
2:38   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:36   Full timeout called  
2:24   Defensive rebound by Danuel House Jr.  
2:01   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
1:53   Kevin Durant missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Eric Gordon  
1:48   Offensive rebound by Draymond Green  
1:46 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 44-53
1:39 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 47-53
1:25   Bad pass turnover on Kevin Durant, stolen by James Harden  
1:00   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
0:44   Lost ball turnover on Kevin Durant, stolen by James Harden  
0:40 +3 Chris Paul made 3-pt. jump shot 50-53
0:26   Lost ball turnover on Stephen Curry, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
0:22 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 53-53
0:04   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
0:04   Andre Iguodala missed 1st of 2 free throws  
0:04   Andre Iguodala missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:02   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
0:00   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   HOU team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:41   Personal foul on Stephen Curry  
11:28 +2 James Harden made layup, assist by Clint Capela 55-53
11:14   Personal foul on Chris Paul  
11:01   Draymond Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:41   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
10:24   Bad pass turnover on Chris Paul, stolen by Draymond Green  
10:06 +2 Eric Gordon made driving layup 57-53
9:48   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
9:44   P.J. Tucker missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Draymond Green  
9:38   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
9:34 +2 Klay Thompson made running Jump Shot 57-55
9:34   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
9:34 +1 Klay Thompson made free throw 57-56
9:19   James Harden missed finger-roll layup, blocked by Kevin Durant  
9:16   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
9:15   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:14   Personal foul on Clint Capela  
9:05 +2 Klay Thompson made jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 57-58
8:47   Shooting foul on Draymond Green  
8:47   Chris Paul missed 1st of 2 free throws  
8:47 +1 Chris Paul made 2nd of 2 free throws 58-58
8:30   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
8:30   Kevin Durant missed 1st of 2 free throws  
8:30 +1 Kevin Durant made 2nd of 2 free throws 58-59
8:10   Danuel House Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:07   Defensive rebound by Klay Thompson  
8:00 +2 Kevin Durant made driving dunk, assist by Klay Thompson 58-61
7:35   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:33   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
7:22   Defensive rebound by Eric Gordon  
7:12 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 61-61
6:57 +2 Draymond Green made driving layup 61-63
6:42 +2 Kevin Durant made dunk, assist by Stephen Curry 61-65
6:17   Lost ball turnover on James Harden, stolen by Klay Thompson  
6:08   Bad pass turnover on Andre Iguodala, stolen by James Harden  
6:04   Offensive foul on P.J. Tucker  
6:04   Turnover on P.J. Tucker  
5:51   Shooting foul on James Harden  
5:51   Andre Iguodala missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:51   GS team rebound  
5:51 +1 Andre Iguodala made 2nd of 2 free throws 61-66
5:40   Iman Shumpert missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:37   Defensive rebound by Klay Thompson  
5:28   Lost ball turnover on Kevin Durant, stolen by Iman Shumpert  
5:21 +2 Clint Capela made alley-oop shot, assist by James Harden 63-66
5:11   Shooting foul on Danuel House Jr.  
5:11 +1 Stephen Curry made 1st of 2 free throws 63-67
5:11 +1 Stephen Curry made 2nd of 2 free throws 63-68
4:56 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 66-68
4:48   Kevin Durant missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:46   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
4:34   Shooting foul on Stephen Curry  
4:34 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 68-68
4:12 +2 Draymond Green made layup, assist by Kevon Looney 68-70
3:52   Iman Shumpert missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:47   Shooting foul on Iman Shumpert  
3:47 +1 Kevin Durant made 1st of 2 free throws 68-71
3:47 +1 Kevin Durant made 2nd of 2 free throws 68-72
3:24   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
3:22   GS team rebound  
2:55   HOU team rebound  
2:55   Personal foul on Shaun Livingston  
2:38   Personal foul on Kevon Looney  
2:38 +1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 69-72
2:38 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 70-72
2:20   Kevin Durant missed 1st of 3 free throws  
2:20 +1 Kevin Durant made 2nd of 3 free throws 70-73
2:20 +1 Kevin Durant made 3rd of 3 free throws 70-74
2:02   Out of bounds turnover on Chris Paul  
1:51 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot 70-76
1:37   Personal foul on Klay Thompson  
1:37   Chris Paul missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:37   Chris Paul missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:36   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
1:28 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 70-78
1:12 +3 Gerald Green made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 73-78
0:52 +3 Andre Iguodala made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Shaun Livingston 73-81
0:35 +3 Chris Paul made 3-pt. jump shot 76-81
0:33   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
0:31   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
0:31 +1 Kevin Durant made free throw 76-83
0:13   Shaun Livingston missed jump shot, blocked by Gerald Green  
0:10   Defensive rebound by Danuel House Jr.  
0:04   Bad pass turnover on Klay Thompson, stolen by Chris Paul  
0:00   Chris Paul missed jump shot  
0:00   HOU team rebound  

4th Quarter

Time Team Play Score