HOUSTON (AP) – The Rockets have reason to feel good, tied with Golden State after winning Game 2 in a loss in the Western Conference finals.
But a big challenge awaits him on Sunday at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors won an NBA record by tying 15 consecutive playoff games.
Houston coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni knows all about Golden State's success in Oakland, but thinks it has less to do with being home than the fact that the Warriors are a great team.
"The challenge is that you play Golden State, that's why they have won 15 in a row, not because of the construction, but because they are good", he said. "All these players are used to play in hostile environments … it helps a bit (but) sometimes it also feeds on the energy of the other crowd. So you try to get them out as soon as you can and get the crowd out & # 39;
The Rockets are not intimidated by Golden State's winning streak and are waiting for the challenge.
& # 39; & # 39; It's definitely a great place to play & # 39; & # 39 ;, said Trevor Ariza. "Your fans are great." They bring a lot of energy to the game. At this moment there is nothing like playing in that kind of environment and trying to silence them & # 39; & # 39;
Ariza was one of the keys to Houston's 127-105 victory in Game 2 that helped erase the memory of Houston's tough home opener in the series opener. Ariza had 19 points as one of the five Rockets who scored more than 16 points to bounce after an ineffective performance in Game 1 due to fouling problems.
While the Rockets know what happened in Game 2 it will not matter if they do not take care of business on Sunday night, they think it gives them a little momentum.
& # 39; & # 39; Yes, just because we know we are more than capable of doing it, "said James Harden. & # 39; & # 39; We have to go out and do every thing & # 39; & # 39;
Houston's 127 points were the most the team scored in the postseason. But they are quick to point out that their success on offense was the product of a strong defense. That, they say, is the reason why it will not be difficult to recreate what they did in Game 2 on Sunday night.
& # 39; & # 39; It was nothing special what we did, "Harden said. & # 39; & # 39; We just created more opportunities with our defense & # 39; & # 39;
Sunday will be Houston's second game at Golden State this season and the first since the Rockets won a 122-121 victory on October 17 in both teams' first game on the night the Warriors received their rings. championship.
& # 39; & # 39; Since then, many things have been happening, "Harden said. "But as long as we take those same principles and that mindset that we have, no matter where we play, we'll be pretty good."
Kevin Durant has scored 75 combined points in the first two games to lead the Warriors, but Stephen Curry has not really started up yet when he recovers after missing almost two months with a knee injury. The Rockets know that the Most Valuable Player of 2015 and 2016 is capable of having a great game at any time and must have him at all times, just as they do with Durant and Klay Thompson.
& # 39; & # 39; I think everyone is your team can shoot & # 39; & # 39 ;, Ariza said. & # 39; & # 39; When you are in a scoring position, you just have to give some kind of resistance. Try to make them think about doing other things. "
The Warriors have much more experience at this postseason level with this their fourth consecutive franchise trip to the conference finals, but Houston has a lot of veteran leadership led by the nine times All -Star Chris Paul, who said it's easy to look forward no matter what the last game was like.
& # 39; It seems that Game 2 was a week ago & # 39; he said. & # 39; & # 39; That's how it is in the playoffs … we've done a great job all year long keeping calm We try not to get too high or too low & # 39;