Golden State destroy Rockets in NBA


Summary

It was billed as a must-win for the Houston Rockets on their home court, but in the first six minutes of the game Golden State Warriors’ centre Andrew Bogut did something critics thought was beyond him.

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The 213cm tall Australian centre was unstoppable on the offensive end.

In that six minute opening period on Saturday Bogut, just days ago named one of the NBA’s best defensive players, scored 10 of the Warriors’ first 17 points.

The Rockets never recovered from that opening burst and the Warriors went on to a 115-80 blowout victory.

The win gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals and one more victory will book them a place in the NBA Championship series for the first time in 40 years.

“Bogut was terrific,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

In a 23-second stretch in the first quarter Bogut hit a sweet hook shot, drew a charging foul on Dwight Howard and then dunked a lob pass from teammate Draymond Green.

With his job done and the Warriors’ shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson stepping in and virtually ending the game early in the second quarter, Bogut sat out most of the second half.

The Australian finished with 12 points, on five from eight shooting, and 12 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Curry pulled off another spectacular performance, scoring 40 points, including sinking seven of his nine three-point attempts, while Thompson had 17 points.

A seething Howard told reporters he was surprised his teammates did not put up a fight in a game that was important to keeping their playoff hopes alive.

“We have to man up and not quit on each other,” Howard, with 14 points and 14 rebounds, said.

Howard didn’t point any fingers, but the Rockets’ runner-up to Curry for this year’s NBA MVP award, James Harden, made just three of his 16 field goal attempts.

The Warriors led 30-18 at the end of the first quarter, at half-time steam-rolled to 62-37 and in the final quarter the 18,282 fans who packed into Houston’s Toyota Center expecting a home win were in their cars driving home or deathly quiet in their seats.

“We got hammered on the boards and we got beaten in the paint,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.

“We had no answer to that.”

Kerr, who won three NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs as a player, was one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters.

He gave Curry the ultimate praise.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone shoot the ball like Steph,” Kerr said.

The Warriors can close out the series in Houston on Monday.

Their likely opponent will be the Cleveland Cavaliers who hold a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals against an injury-depleted Atlanta Hawks.

If the Cavaliers do eliminate the Hawks and the Warriors finish off Houston it will pit Cleveland’s Australian point guard Matthew Dellavedova against Boomer teammate Bogut for the NBA title.

The Cavaliers play the Hawks in game three on Sunday (Monday AEST) in Cleveland.


It was billed as a must-win for the Houston Rockets on their home court, but in the first six minutes of the game Golden State Warriors’ centre Andrew Bogut did something critics thought was beyond him.

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The 213cm tall Australian centre was unstoppable on the offensive end.

In that six minute opening period on Saturday Bogut, just days ago named one of the NBA’s best defensive players, scored 10 of the Warriors’ first 17 points.

The Rockets never recovered from that opening burst and the Warriors went on to a 115-80 blowout victory.

The win gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals and one more victory will book them a place in the NBA Championship series for the first time in 40 years.

“Bogut was terrific,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

In a 23-second stretch in the first quarter Bogut hit a sweet hook shot, drew a charging foul on Dwight Howard and then dunked a lob pass from teammate Draymond Green.

With his job done and the Warriors’ shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson stepping in and virtually ending the game early in the second quarter, Bogut sat out most of the second half.

The Australian finished with 12 points, on five from eight shooting, and 12 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Curry pulled off another spectacular performance, scoring 40 points, including sinking seven of his nine three-point attempts, while Thompson had 17 points.

A seething Howard told reporters he was surprised his teammates did not put up a fight in a game that was important to keeping their playoff hopes alive.

“We have to man up and not quit on each other,” Howard, with 14 points and 14 rebounds, said.

Howard didn’t point any fingers, but the Rockets’ runner-up to Curry for this year’s NBA MVP award, James Harden, made just three of his 16 field goal attempts.

The Warriors led 30-18 at the end of the first quarter, at half-time steam-rolled to 62-37 and in the final quarter the 18,282 fans who packed into Houston’s Toyota Center expecting a home win were in their cars driving home or deathly quiet in their seats.

“We got hammered on the boards and we got beaten in the paint,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.

“We had no answer to that.”

Kerr, who won three NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs as a player, was one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters.

He gave Curry the ultimate praise.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone shoot the ball like Steph,” Kerr said.

The Warriors can close out the series in Houston on Monday.

Their likely opponent will be the Cleveland Cavaliers who hold a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals against an injury-depleted Atlanta Hawks.

If the Cavaliers do eliminate the Hawks and the Warriors finish off Houston it will pit Cleveland’s Australian point guard Matthew Dellavedova against Boomer teammate Bogut for the NBA title.

The Cavaliers play the Hawks in game three on Sunday (Monday AEST) in Cleveland.