Rockets’ strong defense carry them to within a win of NBA Finals

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “Both teams are playing their guys heavy minutes so shots will fall or not,” James Harden said. “But I think whoever can buckle down and get stops consecutively and create opportunities with their defense is going to win or have a chance at winning games.“The last two games, we’ve done that.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownIndeed. The Rockets bounced back from an embarrassing 41-point loss in Game 3, when Golden State scored 126 points, to hold the Warriors to fewer than 100 points in two straight wins. Houston’s stingy defense helped the Rockets come out on top on a night when Harden, the MVP front-runner, was 0 for 11 on 3-pointers.Critics of Mike D’Antoni’s teams often said they were too focused on offense and not good enough on defense. It looks like that’s changed now — against a team with four All-Stars in its starting lineup. WATCH: All the spectacular throwdowns in the 2018 PBA Slam Dunk competition “Ninety-four points for a team like that, the guys are trying to find a way and they did,” D’Antoni said.The Rockets have kept the Warriors from moving the ball the way they’re accustomed to, crowding them and forcing them into playing more isolation- style. They’ve also been relentless at throwing bodies at their shooters, and have often used bigger players to harass Stephen Curry to try and wear him down.Houston has forced the Warriors into 34 turnovers combined and limited them to 19 total 3-pointers in the last two games.The Warriors and Rockets were first and second in the NBA in points per game during the regular season, averaging 113.5 and 112.4, respectively. Golden State has managed just over 107 points a game in this series, and Houston has held the defending champions to 97 points in its three wins.Curry noted that both teams have elevated their defenses in this series.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding “It’s been high level,” he said. “Nothing’s easy out there on either side.”He shook his head at the fact neither team has broken 100 points in the last two games.“I think (if you) guessed what the final score would be between the Rockets and Warriors, and neither team getting to 100 two straight games, don’t know what the odds (would be) on that,” he said. “Defense is high right now.”While everyone has been pitching in, the tone on defense, especially in these last two games, has been set by the aggressive play of P.J. Tucker and Trevor Ariza, and Clint Capela’s presence at the rim. Tucker knows that most people believe the way to beat the Warriors is to outscore them in a shootout. The Rockets have shown that energy and effort on the defensive end are a better formula for getting it done.“Anybody says to beat Golden State they talk about scoring 120, 130 points,” Tucker said. “We just feel like we play defense, (lock) down and make it tough for them.”And if the Rockets are able to do that in Game 6 on Saturday night they’ll be on the way to their first NBA Finals since winning consecutive titles in 1994-95. Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hourscenter_img Houston Rockets guard James Harden, top, battles Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green for a loose ball during the first half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball playoffsWestern Conference finals in Houston, Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets are so full of physical defenders that Golden State coach Steve Kerr said many look like they could play football.And with three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt watching from a courtside seat Thursday night, this team long known for its powerful offense relied again on its defense to beat the Warriors 98-94 and take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img

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