Rockets fall to 0-2 in the series

3-pointers from Rockets 109-115 loss versus Warriors

Tuesday night the Houston Rockets took on the Golden State Warriors looking to even the western conference semifinals series at one game a piece. Houston came out sloppy from the start, and Golden State raced out to a lead that the Rockets would ultimately never be able to catch. While the game remained within reach throughout, Houston was unable to close in and the Rockets fell 115-109. The Warriors now lead the Rockets 2 games to none in the best of seven series.

Early Injuries

Almost immediately after the start of game 2, both teams received injury scares to key players one after the other. After swiping at a Clint Capela, point guard Stephen Curry clutched his left hand and made an exit for the locker room. They injury was reported as a dislocated middle finger, and Curry later returned in the first quarter with the injured digit secured to his other finger. Not too long after Curry made his exit, so too did James Harden. As the two teams battled for a rebound, power forward Draymond Green unintentionally swiped Harden's face causing an injury to both eyes. Harden wouldn't return until halfway through the second quarter, and after re-acclimating themselves both went to work lighting up the scoreboard. Harden would finish with 29 points, while Curry added 20 of his own.

Ball Security

Houston started the game either stiff or full of nerves. Whatever the case, the Rockets dug themselves into a hole with turnovers early that they would ultimately fail to overcome. Houston lost the first quarter turnover battle, 9-2, allowing 14 points. By the end of the contest they had given up 24 points off of 17 turnovers, while Golden State gave up only 9.

Quiet night

After 48 hours of nonstop talk surrounding the controversial officiating of game one, the focus only intensified Tuesday morning following the announcement that referee Scott Foster would be running the crew for game two. Foster, known for a perceived lack of impartial officiating towards Harden seemed like the worst timing the NBA could have run into, even if his assignment to this specific game had been made long ago. While Houston fans spent most of the day bemoaning what was assumed to be a repeat of game one, the contest was almost the exact opposite. Golden State was, in fact, the team that found itself in the most foul trouble in what was generally considered an evenly called game.

Rockets Player of the game

James Harden: 29 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 steal

Warriors Player of the game

Kevin Durant: 29 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks.

Next up

The Rockets return to Houston for game three of the western conference semifinals against the Warriors at 7:30 pm.

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

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

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.

Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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