From the opening quarter, the Rockets did a good job of pushing the tempo and getting to the line. They played the fast-break game extremely well, and with their willingness to get into the paint, they earned themselves 20 extra points off of foul shots alone—a necessity with James Harden shooting bricks from the field.
Along with the tempo came a sloppy first half for the Rockets. Poor shooting was a problem for Harden and Jeremy Lin, but it was more disappointing to see how the team reacted to the game’s pace defensively. You expect them to give up points, but what you don’t like to see is them getting beat in transition with sheer speed and effort.
The other problem, which has been a problem all year, was ball control. They were giving the ball away too easily, and they let the Warriors—a fast-break team by nature—take full advantage.
But despite the early problems, the Rockets came out of halftime and began playing a much cleaner brand of basketball. They kept the pace high, they stopped turning the ball over and they outscored Golden State 31-23 in the third quarter.
The Warriors got themselves behind, and when it came down to it, their lack of defense made it tough to stop Houston. This game featured two elite offensive units, and luckily for the Rockets and their fans, they’re the ones who came out on top in this 48-minute battle.