Warriors Drop Game 4 in Houston

Game 5 Wednesday Night at Oracle Arena
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The Warriors suffered their first loss of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, falling 128-115 to the Houston Rockets in Game 4. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 24 points, while Draymond Green notched 21 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Stephen Curry, who was temporarily removed from the game after suffering a head contusion in a nasty fall, made a heroic return after halftime and ended with 23 points and four assists.

Facing a 3-0 deficit entering the contest, the Rockets had literally zero room for error, and judging by their performance to begin the game, they had no intention of seeing their season end this night. Houston shot out of the gates from the start, sinking eight of their first 11 shots to open the game on a 19-3 run within the first five minutes. The Warriors, led by Curry’s 11-consecutive points, eventually found their footing and played the Rockets even until the final 90 seconds of the opening frame. After closing within 37-22, Houston closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to send the teams into the second quarter with the Rockets holding a 45-22 advantage. In total, Houston shot 17-of-22 from the field in the opening frame on their way to their highest scoring quarter of the entire season.

Dwight Howard opened the second quarter with a hook shot, after which the Warriors responded with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 47-29 with 9:10 remaining in the first half. Houston would go on to score 8 of the next 11 points of the game, followed by two consecutive Klay Thompson jumpers to climb back within 19 halfway through the second quarter. And then, the score suddenly became the last thing on the collective minds of the Warriors and all those in attendance. Curry, in an attempt to contest a Trevor Ariza layup, tumbled head over heals over Ariza’s shoulders and landed hard on the court, with his head and/or neck area making the initial impact. Curry remained face down on the court while the Warriors trainers tended to him before he was ultimately removed from the game to undergo testing and further observation. He was diagnosed with a head contusion, and at the time, was questionable to return to the game. While his teammates were understandably distracted by his apparent injury, they responded exactly as he would have hoped they would. A Draymond Green layup with 32 seconds remaining in the half completed a 23-9 Warriors’ run to cut the deficit to 66-59. Jason Terry would go on to drain a three-pointer with just over eight seconds left, sending the game into halftime with the Rockets leading 69-59.

Warriors Lose to Rockets 128-115 in Game 4

The Warriors lose Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to the Rockets 128-115 in Houston on Monday night.

Warriors at Rockets - 5/25/15

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Warriors Lose to Rockets 128-115 in Game 4

The Warriors lose Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to the Rockets 128-115 in Houston on Monday night.
May 25, 2015  |  02:23

Warriors vs. Rockets Game 4

James Harden scores 45 points and grabs nine rebounds as the Rockets drop the Warriors at the Toyota Center.
May 25, 2015  |  04:37

Kerr, Curry on Game 4

Steve Kerr and Steph Curry discuss what the Warriors will need to work on after Game 4.
May 25, 2015  |  03:08

Kerr on Curry Injury

Warriors coach Steve Kerr describes Steph Curry's injury during Game 4.
May 25, 2015  |  02:40

The Warriors, sans-Curry, continued to put up a good fight while their leader was out of the game, as a Green three-pointer cut the deficit to nine points with 6:26 left in the third quarter. Then, with 5:58 remaining in the frame, Curry returned to the court and immediately stepped back into the game. Unfortunately for the Warriors, James Harden seemed to get more of a lift from Curry’s return than anyone else, as the Rockets’ star guard scored nine points in the next 110 seconds. Those points came as part of a Rockets’ 16-2 run to reclaim a 93-71 advantage with 3:00 left in the quarter. The Warriors would respond, however, as a Leandro Barbosa cut the deficit to 13 points with nine seconds left. James Harden airballed the ensuing possession, but his failed attempt fell right in the hands of Terrence Jones, who dunked the ball just before time expired, sending the game into the fourth quarter with Houston up 99-84.

The Dubs put up a valiant effort in the fourth frame, but could never manage to climb all the way back. A Curry three-pointer capped a 14-5 Warriors’ run to cut the deficit to 104-98 with 8:24 left in the game. However, that was the last Golden State field goal for nearly four minutes, a stretch in which Houston went on a 10-0 blitz to build their lead back to 16. The Warriors actually outscored the Rockets the rest of the way, but were unable to string together enough defensive stops for it to make a difference. Harden would score the final eight of his game-high 45 points in the final three minutes to ice away the 128-115 victory for the Rockets.

With the loss, the Warriors and Rockets now travel back to Oakland where they’ll face each other in Game 5 on Wednesday night. Should Golden State come away with a series-clinching victory, they’d advance to their first NBA Finals in 40 years.


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