August 13, 2018
Kevin Durant continues to deliver in the postseason for the Golden State Warriors.
He scored 37 points on Monday night to lead the Warriors to a 119-106 win in the long-awaited showdown with the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
But if it were up to him A.J. Bouye Jersey , he would have done even more.
Durant wasn’t happy with coach Steve Kerr when he took him out in late in the third quarter and loudly asked his coach why he was putting him on the bench. Durant, who played just more than 40 minutes, was asked if he’d prefer to play the entire 48 minutes.
”Probably so,” Durant said.
Kerr acknowledged that he should have left him in at that point and raved about his performance after his fourth 30-point game this postseason.
”This is why anybody would want him on their team … I don’t know what you do to guard him,” Kerr said. ”He can get any shot he wants.”
Starting a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014, the Warriors trailed by as many as 9 early, but had evened it up by halftime and used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull away.
”We’re in the Western Conference finals they are going to come out with a lot of energy,” Durant said. ”We’re going to take that first punch and keep punching.”
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.
Eric Gordon opened the final period with a 3-pointer to get the top-seeded Rockets within 4, but Thompson scored the first eight points of a 13-4 run to make it 100-87 with about eight minutes left.
Houston used a 9-3 spurt, where James Harden scored five, to cut the lead to 103-96 with less than five minutes to go. But Thompson struck again, hitting a wide open 3 to leave the Warriors ahead by 10 with four minutes left.
Harden scored 41 to lead the Rockets, who lost at home for the second time this postseason.
”You’re not going to come in and just knock them out http://www.broncosauthorizedsh.....ubb-jersey ,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”There were too many times where we had mental lapses. We didn’t switch properly, turned the ball over and missed too many layups. We need to do a better job of staying up mentally.”
Now the Rockets are left to regroup after losing their leg up in the homecourt advantage they worked all season for.
”It’s nice to have home court,” D’Antoni said. ”(But) we don’t have it. Now we’ve got to go get it.”
Steph Curry added 18 for the Warriors, who are in the conference finals for a franchise-record fourth straight time. It’s Houston’s first trip since 2015 when Golden State won the series in five games.
”I think he’s going to get even better as the series goes on, which is good for us,” Kerr said of Curry.
The Warriors, who are the second seed in the West, opened a playoff series away from Oracle Arena for the first time since 2014 when they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 4-3 in the opening round.
Houston struggled to slow down Durant all night, and things got even worse when Trevor Ariza picked up his fifth foul with about 10 minutes left in the third with Golden State up by 3. Durant made two baskets for the Warriors around one by Chris Paul that left the Warriors up 73-68 a couple of minutes later.
”He’s one of the best scorers ever,” D’Antoni said of Durant. ”I thought he was extremely good. But we can withstand that. We can’t withstand turning the ball over and giving up so many wide open 3s.”
Gordon added a layup for Houston after that, but Golden State scored the next six points, with a 3-pointer from Thompson, to make it 79-70 with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the third.
Houston ended a scoring drought of more than two minutes with a dunk by Harden seconds later and the Warriors followed with another run Womens Esa Lindell Jersey , scoring six straight points to extend it to 85-72 with just more than two minutes left in the third.
The Rockets rediscovered their offense after that, scoring the next eight points, powered by 3s from Gordon and Gerald Green, to get within 85-80 with about a minute left in the quarter.
Durant added two free throws to close out the quarter and leave the Warriors up 87-80 entering the fourth.
”Houston, they never stop,” Durant said. ”They are always in the game with 3-point shots. We try to get good shots every time down and defend on the other end.”
Warriors: Curry extended his NBA playoff record by making at least one 3-pointer in his 80th straight playoff game. … Draymond Green received a technical early in the first quarter when he pushed Harden after a shot. … Curry missed his first free throw of the playoffs in the third quarter after making all 19 attempts in the first two rounds.
Rockets: Paul added 23 points and 11 rebounds. … Clint Capela had 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks. … Gordon added 15 points off the bench.
THEY SAID IT
Draymond Green on getting the technical so early: ”I was a bit overzealous, a bit amped up, but I’d rather that any day than coming out flat.”
After Game 2 the series moves to Oracle Arena for games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.
The New York Knicks are preaching patience but looking for progress.
Jeff Hornacek got caught in the middle.
The Knicks fired their coach early Thursday, shortly after finishing a 29-53 season. They lost more than 50 games and missed the playoffs both seasons under Hornacek.
”We looked out and we have a plan for what this team should look like over the next three years or so,” Knicks President Steve Mills said. ”We just thought this was an opportunity where we thought it was the right time to make a change.”
Mills and general manager Scott Perry said they didn’t see enough improvement on the court and enough communication and accountability off it. They informed Hornacek of their decision at the airport after flying home from a season-ending victory in Cleveland.
”We know the roster is not complete, we understand our roster as well as anybody,” Perry said at a news conference at the team’s training facility. ”But again Oscar Klefbom Jersey , just in terms of consistency and then a trend I would say toward consistency, Steve and I thought we fell a little bit short in that area.”
Associate head coach Kurt Rambis also was fired.
Hornacek went 60-104 and had a year left on his contract. He became the first coaching change after the NBA regular season finished, with Frank Vogel in Orlando following soon afterward.
The ouster sends the Knicks in search of their 11th coach since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in the 2001-02 season.
Mills said he and Perry were evaluating Hornacek and the Knicks this season on 10-game intervals and saw progress in some areas but not in others. They met with Hornacek a couple of weeks ago to discuss where things stood, so Mills said he didn’t think the decision was a complete shock to the coach.
”Jeff is a positive person and I think he was hopeful that there would be another opportunity, but he’s a pro,” Mills said. ”He’s a good man and he took it well.”
Mills continued to say the Knicks are rebuilding, with Perry saying there would be no quick fixes. Still, they apparently expected more this season, which started well but quickly fell apart after injuries to Tim Hardaway Jr. and later the season-ending loss of All-Star Kristaps Porzingis.
”I can’t wrap my thoughts about what management thinks,” Hardaway said. ”All I know is that Jeff was great to the guys, and he was a player’s coach.”
Perry said the Knicks were looking for a skilled communicator and effective leader who connects well with today’s players and has a strong defensive mindset. He said there is no timetable to find that person.
Hornacek was hired in 2016 by Phil Jackson and lasted just one more season after Jackson and the team parted ways last summer.
”Jeff is a good guy,” forward Michael Beasley said after Wednesday’s victory. ”He played the hand he was dealt. It’s difficult to do anything because all you’re thinking about is not to mess up.”
The Knicks have won only one postseason series since 2002 and didn’t get close to competing in one under Hornacek, running their streak to five straight 50-loss debacles.
Hornacek Randall Cobb Jersey , previously a head coach for three years in Phoenix, was surprised when he became Jackson’s choice, since they had little relationship other than facing off in the NBA Finals when Hornacek played for Utah and Jackson coached the Chicago Bulls.
Jackson said Hornacek would be allowed to run whatever offense he wanted and not be required to implement the triangle Jackson used as a coach. But he shifted gears during Hornacek’s first season, and the team returned to the triangle with poor results.
Hornacek opened up the offense after Jackson’s departure, and the Knicks started 16-13. But they tailed off toward the middle of the season and then collapsed after Porzingis tore a knee ligament on Feb. 6.
Hornacek tried to preach patience late in the season as the losses piled up with a young roster that defended dismally.
He said he was prepared for the chaos that comes with the Knicks job and he experienced plenty – from Jackson’s feud with Carmelo Anthony, who was eventually traded in September, to his own clash during this season with Joakim Noah, who then remained on the roster but never returned to the team.
With Anthony, Noah and Derrick Rose all gone, the Knicks lacked the veteran roster this season they had when Hornacek was hired with playoff expectations.
Hornacek is 161-216 and has never reached the postseason as an NBA coach.
Rambis, a former assistant under Jackson, originally came to New York to work under Derek Fisher and served as interim head coach for half a season after Fisher was fired.
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