Houston evens series 2-2 with 112-108 victory

3-pointers from Rockets game 4 win versus Warriors

Kevin C. Cox

The Houston Rockets once again faced off against the Golden State Warriors, looking to tie up the best of seven series at two games a piece. Houston dominated throughout the majority of the game but a predictable Warriors run late in the fourth trimmed the lead from 17 to a single possession. Houston would hold on, however, defeating Golden State 112-108. The series is now tied at two games a piece.

Air Raid

With two of the best shooting teams in the league squaring off, someone was bound to blink. Monday night it was the Warriors. The Splash Brothers' Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry failed to live up to their nickname as they shot a collective 5-20 from beyond the arc. Golden State as a team went 8-33 (24.2%) from 3, while Houston buried 17-50 (34%). It's unlikely Houston sees another shooting performance this bad, but it was critical that they capitalized on it to even the series.

PJ part II

Once again PJ Tucker did his best Draymond Green impression, except better. The defensive juggernaut once again drew the nearly impossible task of guarding Kevin Durant and once again he got under Durant's chin, in addition to flying all over the court as we've come to expect. Tucker finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and once again played a pivotal role in this playoff series. His numbers may not jump out every night, but Tucker is keeping Houston competitive nearly as much defensively as James Harden is offensively.

Harden erupts

James Harden knows that he will be praised or blamed for the outcome of this series. Determined to elicit the former, Harden manufactured one of the most impressive playoff performances of his career, and it could not have happened at a more crucial moment. Harden kept pace with Durant's unblockable jump shot with his dizzying handles, creating space for the open shot or catching the opponent off balance for a drive and easy layup. Harden's lethal stepback game was dialed in as well, shooting 6-17 from downtown.

Rockets player of the game

James Harden: 38 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks

Warriors player of the game

Kevin Durant: 34 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Next up

The Rockets travel back to the west coast for game 5 of the western conference semifinals on Wednesday at 9:30 pm, central.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston's bats have a hot night

Astros clobber Rangers to win series opener

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After dropping two of three in Seattle, the Astros entered the regular season's final series still waiting to clinch their playoff berth. Luckily their matchup favored them, with four games against the 19-37 Rangers, which they have done well against in recent years. Here are highlights from the opener:

Final Score: Astros 12, Rangers 4.

Record: 29-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (5-2, 3.48 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance Lynn (6-3, 3.32 ERA).

Astros put up 10 on Lynn 

Houston had no trouble getting acquainted with the Rangers' new stadium, jumping out to an early lead in the top of the first inning. After a lengthy at-bat against Lance Lynn, Jose Altuve reached on a one-out single, then scored from first on a two-out RBI-triple by Alex Bregman. They'd double their lead in the next at-bat on an error, making it 2-0.

They extended that lead even more in the next inning, getting back-to-back singles to start the inning to set up a big three-run dinger by George Springer to straightaway center-field to make it 5-0. Bregman added two more RBI to his night in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a leadoff single by Michael Brantley by hitting a two-run homer to make it a 7-0 lead. Altuve would push the total to double-digits in the top of the sixth, lifting a three-run home run of his own to make it a 10- lead.

Javier with a decent start, bullpen closes out the win

Meanwhile, Cristian Javier was doing well on the mound against the Rangers. He allowed just three baserunners through the first five innings, a double in the first, a hit batter in the second, and a single in the fifth. He would falter a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff single then a two-run homer, then later in the inning a sac fly, making it 10-3 before Houston would turn to their bullpen. Javier's final line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 95 TP.

Luis Garcia would get the final out of the sixth then returned for the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff double that would score on a two-out RBI-double, making it a six-run game before Garcia finished the frame. Brooks Raley was the next reliever and notched two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.

Josh Reddick gave Houston two more insurance runs, joining the home run barrage with a two-run homer in the top of the inning to make it 12-4 going to the bottom half. Brandon Bielak was given a low-leverage opportunity to throw in the bottom of the ninth. He erased a two-out double for a scoreless inning to wrap up the lopsided win, lowering Houston's magic number to 1.

Up Next: The second game of this four-game set between Houston and Texas will start Friday at 7:05 PM Central at Globe Life Field. The pitching battle will be Kyle Cody (1-1, 1.53 ERA) for the Rangers and Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.78 ERA) for the Astros.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome