Rockets stun Warriors to take Game 4


The Rockets bounced back from their Game 3 defeat. Source: AAP

Steph Curry scored 17 points in the third quarter and shimmied.

Golden State outscored Houston 34-17 and entered the fourth quarter up by 10.

It still wasn’t enough.

In arguably the best game of either Conference Finals series so far, the Houston Rockets won their first ever playoff game at Golden State 95-92, helping to even the series at 2-2.

The thrilling win wasn’t decided until the final buzzer sounded as Curry had a three-point attempt with 0.5 seconds remaining but couldn’t connect before time expired, the Rockets showing the world that they’re still in the series as it shifts to Houston.

Should it be required, Game 7 will be in Houston meaning that two of three remaining games will be Rockets home games.

Golden State started on fire, jumping out to a 12-0 lead and it looked like it would be a long night for Houston, reminiscent of their Game 3 performance.

The Rockets have continually preached after each game this postseason that they have fight in them, and it was on show in the second quarter.

They fought back on the back of stingy James Harden defence that at one point produced two straight steals leading to buckets, Houston went into the half up seven.

The last play highlighed their inner doggedness as Harden blocked a Curry shot over the baseline as the buzzer sounded.

In a near mirror image of the third quarter of Game 3, Curry went off, hitting five threes as the Warriors blew the game wide open.

He matched the Rockets in scoring for the quarter and Golden State looked headed for another blowout win.

Entering the fourth, all looked lost for Houston, but in the most important quarter of their season so far, they showed why they won 65 games in the regular season and finished as the number one seed.

They shut down the Warriors vaunted offence and held them to just 12 points on three-of-18 shooting in the fourth quarter, outscoring them 25-12 and edging out the three-point win.

Chris Paul’s eight points in the fourth (27 total) led the Rockets, and despite Harden scoring just one point in the fourth and six in the second half (30 total), they head to Houston with a chance to take a 3-2 series lead.

Golden State was hurt by the absence of Andre Iguodala, as even more pressure was placed on the Warriors’ stars.

Curry led the team with 28 points but shot 10-of-26 from the field, while Kevin Durant scored 27 but shot just nine-of-24.

Only two of the nine Warriors players who played in Game 4 shot 50 percent or above from the field, something they’ll need to change if they’re to take Game 5 in Houston on Friday.


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