Tune-In Tidbits: West Finals, Game 2, May 16, 2018
Game 2: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets, 9:00 ET, TNT (Warriors Lead 1-0)
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 37 points in Game 1, with 14 of those points coming in his 25 possessions matched up against PJ Tucker. Durant shot 5-7 from the field, 2-3 from beyond against Tucker. In 20 possessions against James Harden, Durant had 11 points on 4-9 shooting (1-1 3P).
James Harden led all scorers with 41 points, with nearly half of them coming in his 39 possessions against Kevin Durant. Harden had 18 points on 7-11 shooting (2-4 3P) against Durant, but was more efficient when he was matchup up with Kevon Looney on a Warriors defensive switch. In just 8 possessions against Looney, Harden had 10 points on 4-6 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers.
The Warriors dominated fast break points in Game 1, with an 18-3 edge over the Rockets. Golden State led all teams with 19.3 fast break points per game in the regular season, and rank third among playoff teams at 17.6 per game. Limiting fast break points had been a strength of the Rockets heading into this series as they allowed just 10.4 per game through their first 10 playoff games.
While the Hamptons 5 lineup – Curry, Durant, Green, Iguodala, Thompson – played the most minutes together (17) in Game 1, the Warriors only outscored the Rockets by two points while they were on the court together. Golden State’s most effective lineup featured Kevon Looney in place of Iguodala. In 9 minutes together, that 5-man group outscored Houston by 9 points, while posting a plus-67.6 net rating.
For the Rockets to find success, their role players must knock down the open looks that are generated by their offense. In Game 1, Trevor Ariza, PJ Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute, Gerald Green and Ryan Anderson combined to shoot 3-14 (21.4%) on uncontested shots.
Game 1 was James Harden’s third 40-point game of the playoffs and 14th of the year (regular season and playoffs). Houston is now 10-4 when Harden scores 40 or more points this season.
During the regular season, the Warriors led the NBA in assist percentage with 68.5% of their baskets coming off an assist. In Game 1, Golden State utilized more isolation sets than normal, resulting in their second-lowest assist percentage of the playoffs (57.1%). Kevin Durant was assisted on only 3 of his team-high 14 baskets (21.4%) during Game 1; it was his lowest percentage of the playoffs.
Draymond Green made only one field goal in Game 1, but posted the highest plus/minus of the game as the Warriors outscored the Rockets by 19 points when Green was on the court. He finished with 5 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Only four players have put together a playoff game with the combination of five or fewer points and at least 9 rebounds and 9 assists since the 1983-84 season. All four came in wins.