In their quest to sweep the Houston Rockets out of the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors trailed from start to finish Monday night and now must try to eliminate the Rockets at home.
Though the Warriors lost the game, 128-115, they still have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and, moreover, seemed to have dodged disaster when Stephen Curry took a hard fall in the second quarter.
Curry left with 5:52 remaining in the second quarter after landing on his head/neck area while attempting to block a shot by Houston forward Trevor Ariza. He was diagnosed with a head contusion and returned to the game with 5:58 left in the third quarter.
But Curry’s return did not generate enough production – or enough sustained defense – to mount a comeback.
Six Warriors scored in double figures, led by 24 points from Klay Thompson. Curry finished with 23, Draymond Green with 21, Harrison Barnes with 14, Andre Iguodala with 13 and Leandro Barbosa finished with 12.
The Rockets shot 77.3 percent in the first quarter and 60 percent in the first half, as there was no sign of the defense that held Houston to 29.3-percent shooting in the first half of Game 3.
James Harden, coming off a miserable Game 3, was fabulous in leading the Rockets with 45 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
The series now shifts back to Oracle Arena in Oakland. Game 5 is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
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