Warriors vs. Rockets Game 1 score: Golden State holds off Houston in series opener, goes up 1-0 in West semifinal
The Warriors held off the Rockets in Game 1 despite a big night from James Harden
Despite rough performances from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors prevailed behind another sensational outing from Kevin Durant, who led the way with 35 points.
While the Warriors did emerge victorious in this one, there were several questionable non-calls from the referees -- most of which hurt the Rockets. On at least five different occasions it appeared James Harden and Chris Paul were fouled on 3-point attempts, only for the referees to ignore what looked to be obvious physical contact and fouls following their shot attempts.
None was more prevalent than what we saw during the closing seconds of the game with the Rockets trailing 103-100 when Harden appeared to be fouled by Draymond Green on the close-out with 9.1 seconds remaining. The refs didn't call a foul and the Rockets went on to turn over the ball after grabbing an offensive rebound.
The close win by the Warriors sets up a Game 2 matchup for Tuesday night at Oracle Arena in which the Rockets absolutely cannot afford to fall down 2-0.
Here are some takeaways from a controversial Game 1.
The Rockets may have a legit gripe with the referees
This is a blunt assessment, but it's just the truth. I counted at least five occasions in which Rockets players -- namely James Harden and Chris Paul -- were clearly fouled on 3-point attempts with clear physical contact, only for the refs to turn a blind eye and pretend like it never happened.
None was more apparent or highlighted than when Harden was fouled by Draymond Green with a little over nine seconds remaining in the game and the Rockets trailing 103-100.
Considering the fans and players' lack of trust in officiating, this playoff game on the national stage may hurt the NBA's reputation in a major way.
Durant is the X-Factor in this series
We all know that Stephen Curry can turn the momentum of a game in just one shot -- heck, he did it in this game with his dagger 3-pointer with 21.3 seconds left which gave the Warriors a 103-98 lead. With that said, the most dominant offensive player in today's game is none other than Kevin Durant.
While Curry's shot will be remembered as the difference maker, he struggled all game (3-of-10 on 3-pointers with 18 points) as did Klay Thompson (13 points on 5-of-13 shooting). Durant was the lone Warriors player who was consistently making shots and carried the team afloat despite the Rockets being within striking distance.
Durant finished the win with 35 points, just a game after he finished with a playoff career-high 50 points in the series-clinching win over the Clippers on Friday night.
The Warriors are so hard to beat because of Durant. Whether you like him or hate him, that's just the bottom line.
Rockets continue their shooting struggles versus the Warriors
The bottom line is, while the Warriors appeared to clearly foul the Rockets on several 3-pointers throughout the game, Golden State played lazy defense for the entirety of the first half. It was a carryover effect from the Clippers series in which Golden State often put forth a lazy defensive effort because the opposing team's best players were Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari.
With all of that said, despite their lazy defense, the Warriors were still able to shut down the Rockets. Harden drastically struggled and went 9-of-28 from the field and 4-of-16 from 3-point range.
Making matters even more troublesome is the fact that Harden wasn't the only one who struggled -- the entire Rockets roster struggled as they began the game 1-of-14 from 3-point range.
Why is that statistic even worse? Because the Rockets missed 27 consecutive 3-pointers in Game 7 last year, meaning they were 1-of-41 from 3-point range since Game 7 last year versus the Warriors after that rough stretch to start the game.
This game was close all throughout and the Rockets even led by a couple of points during different instances over the course of the game. However, you never felt as if the Rockets were in control of this game -- because the Warriors dictated the pace, regardless of what the score indicated.
That's not a good feeling if you're on the Rockets.
Revisit all the news, highlights and updates from Game 1 below:
No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 4 Houston Rockets
How to watch Game 2
- Date: Tuesday, Apr. 30
- Time: 10:30 p.m. EST
- Location: Oracle Arena -- Oakland, California
- TV channel: TNT
- Online streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)
- Odds: N/A
All games will air on ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV during the postseason. Games on TNT and NBA TV can be streamed via fuboTV (try it for free).
Odds and Analysis
Check Sportsline's NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Dr. Alan Beyer: 'I think the [original] injury was always more serious than the Warriors let...
The Houston Rockets are looking to make a big splash when free agency begins
Also in the latest 3-Man Weave, our NBA experts offer up one free agent ready to turn heads...
Porzingis, who hasn't played in an NBA game in over a year, will be a restricted free agent...
Walker could be an option for a Boston team prepared to lose its star guard
Reports indicate that the Lakers could attempt to fill out their roster with proven vetera...