Despite a 20-11 fourth quarter run, the Golden State Warriors found brick after brick as they lose 112-108 in game four to the Houston Rockets, evening the series 2-2.
With 8.4 seconds left, Warriors forward Kevin Durant heaved an uncontested 28-foot three point jumper just to meet the back of the rim. As Warriors’ forward Draymond Green grabs the offensive rebound, he kicks it back to the sharp-shooting guard Stephen Curry.
The contested 33-foot desperation shot hit the rim, but bounced off concluding the frantic fourth quarter. From the three-point range, the Warriors shot an uncharacteristic 8-33, including 4-14 from Curry.
Tempers flared between Green and Rockets guard Chris Paul at 8:44 in the third quarter. With a hard foul from Paul including a smirk and trash talking, Green abruptly stood up and pushed Paul in the back.
Physicality was present throughout the game, including a combined 44 fouls and 93 rebounds. None of the fouls were classified as flagrant or technical.
50-89 shots taken from the Rockets were beyond the arc, but found more success as the team made 17 threes. Rockets’ guard James Harden had another shooting barrage and double-double: 13-29 for 38 points with 10 rebounds.
The rest of the starting lineup supported Harden as the five scored 94 points. Guard Eric Gordon was the next leading scorer with 20 points, going 6-17 from the field and shooting 2-12 from three-point land. Gordon has excelled this series, averaging 24 points-per-game on 51 percent shooting.
Both teams are known for their three-point shooting; however statistically, the teams found success when shooting within 20-feet. The Rockets shot 22-39 (56 percent) from the two-point range, whereas the Warriors finished 34-57 (59 percent).
The Warriors duo of Durant and Curry both tallied at least 30 points on efficient shooting nights. Durant has been scoring a record pace this postseason, averaging 36.7 PPG this series on 43 percent shooting. His efficiency improved, shooting 12-22 from the field, also shooting 8-10 from the free-throw line.
Curry has been quieter this series, averaging 18.3 PPG on a microscopic 35 field goal percentage and 25 percent on three-point shooting. He stepped up his field goal shooting at 12-25, but still struggles at the arc.
The other Warriors’ “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson was not a factor tonight, shooting a lack-luster 5-15 from the field scoring 11 points.
Aside from the three-point shooting, both teams were scrambled from the free-throw line. 16-23 was how the Warriors finished their night, while the Rockets were not much better going 17-24.
The Warriors will have home-court advantage as the series heads to The Oracle for a pivotal game five.
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