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Golden State Warriors: 5 keys to conference finals vs. Rockets

The Golden State Warriors took a crucial Game 1 by a score of 119-106 over the Houston Rockets on Monday night in the Western Conference Finals.

The Houston Rockets believe they can beat the Golden State Warriors.

You could give the advantage to Golden State due their vast playoff experience over the last three years, or you could give it to the Rockets, who owned the league's best net rating (+23.3) in clutch time this season (the Warriors were seventh at +9.7).

The game started out as good as expected with the Rockets taking an early lead, 30-29, after the first.

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It's finally here! The Western Conference Finals get underway this evening after almost a week since both teams played. D'Antoni is a clear candidate for Coach of the Year.

They will broadcast up to seven live games per week throughout the regular season and the first and second rounds of the playoffs, as well as every game of the conference finals and NBA Finals. Harden may have finished with more points but it's an absolutely taxing style and he gassed out in the third quarter, which is when the Warriors made their move. Durant's offensive output helped make-up for a quiet offensive night from Curry, who scored just 18 points on 8-15 shooting, but did add eight assists with the defense chasing him all night.

Yet even with all the history on Golden State's side, despite the fact that the Warriors have been the talk, chalk, and easily the most complete team in the National Basketball Association for years, they are not the club that should feel the most pressure in this series.

Kerr called it "different" and said he thinks the Warriors will benefit from having their backs against the wall.

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"Houston, they never stop", Durant said.

Eric Gordon's 3-pointer to open the scoring in the 4th quarter pulled the Rockets within 87-83. "They've won two of the past three (NBA) Finals that they've been in".

It took all of 67 seconds for the fireworks to start, when Draymond Green received a technical foul for bumping Harden after the whistle.

Houston is 50-5 this season in games where all three have played, and during the regular season the Rockets outscored their opponents in those games by an average of 11.5 points. But is that enough to defeat an all-time great team like Golden State? He also is playing over 20 minutes a game right now.

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