OAKLAND -– With the game in the balance, a Warriors team that punished itself with turnovers forced one from the Houston Rockets to secure a hard-fought 99-98 win Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
After Harrison Barnes missed an acrobatic layup with 7.9 seconds the play, the ball found the hands Rockets star James Harden who, under pressure from Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, lost his dribble as the horn sounded.
With the victory the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals as the best-of-seven series moves to Texas for the holiday weekend.
The Warriors avoided their customary slow start but blew a 17-point second quarter lead before holding off the plucky Rockets in the fourth quarter.
Curry led the way, scoring a team-high 33 points. Andrew Bogut tossed in 14, with Thompson putting in 13 and Draymond Green adding 12.
Harden was otherwise spectacular, scoring a game-high 38 points. Dwight Howard, whose availability was in doubt, finished with 19 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
Game 3 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday.
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