Warriors-Rockets mega series preview: X-factor, key matchup, prediction, more

Warriors-Rockets mega series preview: X-factor, key matchup, prediction, more

After the game, Harden cautioned against taking too much from the regular season series when he said "Obviously they're a championship caliber team for the past four years.and that's what we're trying to build our way up to".

The Jazz won 29 of their final 35 regular-season games to claim a playoff spot.

This is a huge indication that the gambling world attributes the Rockets superior regular season record to Warriors injuries. But after missing almost six weeks with a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee, Curry clocked in for four games of the second round against the Pelicans.

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The two teams traded blows in the fourth quarter like a pair of heavyweights and it all came down to a buzzer beating attempt by Kevin Durant that went through the basket but was ruled late upon replay review. The second-seeded Golden State Warriors are on the road for Game 1 of their best of seven set with the top-seeded Houston Rockets Monday night.

Then again, the Rockets have been knocked out of the playoffs by Golden State two of the past three years.

Here is an early look at key factors in the series and why, in the end, I'm predicting a Warriors victory in seven games. The Warriors haven't even lost four playoff games total since he showed up; after Tuesday's win, Golden State is now 24-3 in playoff games with Durant, and 55-17 over the past four postseasons since Kerr became head coach.

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In the first quarter of the Warriors' 113-104 win over New Orleans, he took a break from jawing with Rajon Rondo and firing up his team to engage in some levity. Having reached the Finals in each of the past three seasons and won two world titles in that span, the Warriors are on the verge of a modern-day dynasty. Houston beat Minnesota in five games in the first round and dispatched Utah in five in the conference semifinals as they took a 112-102 win at home Tuesday night. With 15 consecutive wins at Oracle, the Warriors' crowd has a way of making runs cascade. Both Green and Paul should be at the center of that. Yes, this is the most compelling series we could have hoped for. This is Paul's first taste of the conference finals and after seeing his performance against the Jazz in Game 5, you know that he's hungry and feels he has something to prove. But Durant is confident that the reigning champions seeking their fourth straight National Basketball Association finals appearance have a team versatile enough to adapt to the challenges posed by the Rockets. PJ Tucker chipped in 19 points while James Harden finished with 18. "It throws a lot of these groups off, but for us, we've got a versatile group that can play different ways".

Curry went 10 for 16 in 37 minutes playing his fourth game back from a sprained left knee he hurt March 23.

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