Rockets come up short against Warriors in Game 1

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Rockets Coach Kevin McHale on the difference in the Warriors win over Houston Tuesday

Led by MVP Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors held off the Rockets to win Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, 110-106. Two runs keyed the Warriors win in front of a roaring crowd in Oakland: a 25-6 burst to close the first half and an 11-0 run late in the fourth quarter after the Rockets tied the game at 97.

Rockets coach Kevin McHale said, "We missed too many shots at the rim and didn't rebound the ball well enough."

Curry poured in 34 points, including 7 in the run that decided the game late. James Harden countered with 28 points for the Rockets.

Dwight Howard scored just 7 points and played 26 minutes after suffering an apparent knee injury in the first quarter. Howard limped off and returned before sitting on the bench down the stretch.

McHale said, "He's our top rebounder. He's a hell of a basketball player. Hopefully he'll be better. I hope that Dwight is healthy." Later he added, "We played over half the season without Dwight. Dwight didn't prohibit us... we were 26 of 50 at the rim. We've got to go finish."

Asked why he didn't use a timeout to try to slow the Warriors 25-6 run that erased a 16 point Rockets lead in 2nd quarter McHale said, "We were running out. I guess I could borrow one."

The Rockets return for Game 2 in Oakland on Thursday night. Game time is 8 pm on ESPN.


The Rockets sent out seldom-used reserve Nick Johnson for the captain's handshake with Curry, who was caught by cameras walking away and shaking his head, which created a stir on social media. Rockets captain Patrick Beverley is out with a left wrist injury and hasn't been handling the ritual handshake in the playoffs.


Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was booed by fans during Game 5 of the Grizzlies-Warriors series in Oakland, watched from a courtside seat. Also sitting among the crowd was boxer and Bay Area native Andre Ward, who was cheered loudly when shown on the videoboards.
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