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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Thursday on First Things First, Nick Wright lays out why he believes the Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade actually benefits both teams. Many NBA analysts have been very vocal about the Wizards getting the better side of the trade, but Wright doesn't see it that way. Also, Wright discusses what the trade means for James Harden and his future in Houston. The Harden conversation takes place at the 4:16 mark if you want to jump ahead.

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