The Rockets lost Game 1 to Golden State in the Western Conference Finals 119-106. Here are five observations on the loss:
So much for home court: The Rockets worked all season to get homecourt advantage, and they gave it away in one night. In reality, this was a game they had to have, and they lost it in a third quarter where they were outscored 31-24. Golden State also was better in the fourth quarter and that was the difference.
No answer for Durant: The biggest concern going in was that the Rockets could match up with the Warriors' Big Three, but did not seem to have a matchup for Kevin Durant, the big fourth. That proved to be true, as Durant dominated with 37 points. James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela held their own with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, but Durant was the difference.
Awful a Moute: Luc Mbah A Moute was a serious liability for the Rockets. He took too many shots -- hitting none of them -- and looked like a rec league player. He scored as many points as a dead person. That will not beat the Warriors.
Useless Ariza: Trevor Ariza was almost a zero, getting five fouls and taking bad shots. He scored a whopping 8 points. The Rockets needed more.
No help for Harden: The Beard scored 41 and played well, but got little help. Chris Paul scored 21 but on just 7 of 16 shooting. Eric Gordon had 15 and Clint Capela 12, but there simply was not enough offense throughout the roster.
The bottom line: The Rockets looked overmatched in a game they had to have. This series could get out of hand fast. A similar effort in Game 2 and the Rockets could easily go full Raptor.