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James Harden – Houston Rockets have focused on their game, not the Golden State Warriors



HOUSTON – With all due respect to defending champion Golden State Warriors, James Harden does not care about the opponent of the Rockets in the Western Conference finals.

"We focus on what we should do," Harden said after the Rockets settled the series with a 127-105 win in Game 2 on Wednesday night. "We do not really care who we play against, if we come out and have some dogs and do what we did tonight, it does not matter, but if we do not, we'll see the results in Game 1 It's not about chess or what they're doing. It's about us. "

Rocket striker PJ Tucker, who played in Play 2 with a playoff career – scored high 22 points on 8 of 9 shooting, Hardens confides that Houston can win this series. But Tucker believes that the Rockets, the team with the NBA's best record at 65-1

7 this season, must be the outsider of the series to end the three-year reign of Warriors as West Champions.

  • James Harden and Eric Gordon each scored 27 points for a balanced attack, and the Houston Rockets led the Golden State Warriors 127-105 and even the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night at one game each.

"There is no doubt we are the outsiders," Tucker told ESPN. "They're still the champions, they're the champions until somebody beats them, we're underdogs in this, people talked about being swept and we do not have a shot, we're the outsiders and we have." I have to keep this mentality in this whole series.

"This meanness, that's the only way we can win, we definitely have to play harder than they do, we have to play harder, and we have to play smarter."

Houston's enhanced intensity – "more power" as coaches Mike D & # 39; Antoni put it – was consistently referred to by the Rockets as the most important difference in Game 2

"When we were in the first game at 70, we were at 95 tonight," Harden said. "We were fairly aggressive defensively and that allowed us to get out in the transition, so if we feel comfortable, sit back and just let them come to their seats and walk around freely, then they'll take us apart, but when we get up They're going to start and try to make them harder, good things will happen to us. "

The Rockets had a much more balanced attack in Game 2 than at the opening, as Harden scored 41 points Harden had in the second round of the tournament with 119 27 points to 10 points, while some Rocker Role players had great scoring nights: Sixth Man Eric Gordon (27 points), small striker Trevor Ariza (19 points) and Tucker all had their most scoring matches this postseason.

"Everything was fueled by our defense," said Gordon, who was 8 out of 15 off the ground and 6 out of 9 was 3-point

The Rockets cleared up the mental flaws that often gave the Warriors an open eye in the game, 1 determined to play at a faster pace They were able to get more defensive stoppages, including forcing 15 turnovers. The Rockets had 12 fast breakpoints – four times more than in Game 1 – and were able to generate a lot of insult in their possessions after they got in Had to exploit opener possessions.

"Offensive is easy then," said Tucker. "We do not have to think about it, we do not have to talk about offense, we have two of the best playmakers in NBA history and Eric Gordon, guys who can attack the rim and really hit the ball, if we can stand on the defensive we get everything in the offensive area, what we want. "

The Rockets were particularly dominant in the first quarter defensive, as they held the Warriors to 21 points. Golden State had almost as many sales (seven). He made field missions (nine) and did not make 3-point shots in the area.

"We were more aggressive from the start rather than allowing them to attack us first and we react," Ariza said was 7 of 9 off the ground and had six assists. "I think we reacted first and brought the fight to them instead of first meeting us."

Much of the media focused after Game 1 on the Rockets' isolation-heavy offensive, which did not change in Game 2 except that Houston pushed up the pace. According to Second Spectrum data, the Rockets ran 46 isolations in Game 2, one more than they ran in the series Opener. [196592002] Between the games the focus of the coaches and players of the Rockets lay on playing harder and wiser on the defense Siderer the key to give himself a chance Beat the Warriors.

"We know who we are," Tucker said, "We do not have to win a game to know who we are. We have seen film and nobody has anything to say. We understand. We understand that. For us it's just how we play. We did not play Rocket. "Basketball in Game 1. We all know that, we saw it, we saw the clips.

" Our boys are proud. We knew we could not do the first game anymore. Regardless of the outcome, we will not play like that again. "


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