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NBA (National Basketball Association)

Steph Curry-inspired Golden State Warriors move into NBA Finals with win over Houston Rockets in game seven

The point guard lights up the third quarter as his side overcome a 15-point deficit to set up a meeting with the Cavaliers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 11:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 12:23pm

Behind another extraordinary third quarter from Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors erased a 15-point deficit and claimed game seven of the Western Conference finals with a 101-92 victory over the Houston Rockets in Houston.

Curry scored 14 of his 27 points in the third period as the Warriors secured their fourth consecutive berth in the NBA Finals.

“This is a situation we’ve never been in before ... to win a game seven on the road, keep our composure for the whole series,” Curry said postgame on TNT.

“All those hurdles and obstacles, we got over them, so it’s an unbelievable feeling, man. Winning a championship is hard, so this is a testament to that.”

The championship series begins on Thursday in Oakland, with the Cleveland Cavaliers representing the Eastern Conference.

The same two teams met in the previous three Finals, with Golden State winning the title in 2015 and 2017 and Cleveland emerging as the champ in 2016.

Golden State, after trailing by 11 points at the intermission, outscored the Rockets 33-15 in the third period. The Warriors posted a plus-68 scoring margin in the third quarters for the series.

“The second half was unbelievable,” Curry said. “This atmosphere is crazy.”

The Rockets fashioned their half-time lead on effort, both defensively and on the glass, but when their offence collapsed in the third quarter, their verve dissipated.

Houston shot 24 per cent (six of 25) in the third while missing all 14 of its three-point attempts. Curry, meanwhile, finished the frame five of six from the floor while draining four of five from beyond the arc as the Warriors shot their way to the lead.

The Rockets missed 27 consecutive three-point attempts – an NBA play-off record – before PJ Tucker drilled a corner three with 6:28 left that cut the deficit to 10 points.

Houston went seven of 44 from deep at 15.9 per cent, while Golden State made 16 of 39 three-point attempts at 41 per cent.

Kevin Durant had 34 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Warriors, while Klay Thompson chipped in 19 points despite early foul trouble. Curry also produced nine boards, 10 assists and four steals.

James Harden posted 32 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals for the Rockets, who again were without guard Chris Paul because of a right hamstring strain.

Harden opened the game four of five from the floor but finished 12 of 29 for the game. Eric Gordon scored 23 points for Houston but shot two of 12 from three-point range, slightly better than Harden’s two of 13.

LeBron James the hero again for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they progress past Boston Celtics to NBA Finals

Harden, who gave the Rockets a 48-33 lead with a transition dunk at the 4:54 mark of the second quarter, fed Capela for an alley-oop lay-up for a 61-55 lead with 5:38 left in the third.

The Warriors followed with a 17-2 run that included five threes – four of which came from Curry, whose finger roll with 3:29 left in the period was the lone basket from inside the arc during the decisive run.