NBA

Curry led the Warriors in scoring despite only playing one half.

Golden State Warriors steamroll Houston Rockets to kick off play-off campaign

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The Golden State Warriors picked up where they left off in the regular season with an emphatic 104 - 78 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of their playoff showdown at the Oracle Arena, Oakland.

Led by an on-fire Steph Curry, who managed 16 points in the first quarter- one more than the Rockets' entire team in the same period - the reigning champions got their title defence off to the perfect start with another win to add to the record-breaking 73 victories they accumulated in the regular season.

It wasn't all good news for the Dubs however; Curry, who picked up a technical foul thanks to a scuffle with Patrick Beverley in the first quarter, limped off before half-time having picked up an injury to the same ankle which required surgery in 2011.

The 28-year-old's injury didn't look too serious, and he returned for the second half but managed only three minutes, with coach Steve Kerr wisely deciding not to risk him late on with the game in the bag. Curry ended the first half with 24 points and six rebounds, and didn't add to that tally because of his ankle complaint. 

The reigning MVP, who surpassed 400 three-pointers in the regular season - a tally which took him up from 51st to 19th in the all-time three point list - demonstrated his incredible ability from range during his time on the hardwood, hitting five of seven from beyond the arc, compared to the Rockets' overall two of 10 in the first half.

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His efforts helped the Warriors to 27-point lead at the half - and while the Rockets briefly threatened a comeback as they cut the advantage from 29 to 16 in the third with Curry back in the locker room as James Harden nailed back-to-back threes, a cameo appearance off the bench from Marresse Speights, who ended up with 12 points, stopped that in its tracks.

Klay Thompson and Draymond Green combined for 28 points and eight assists, while Green led the Warriors with 10 rebounds.

Meltdown

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game One

While the Warriors certainly put on an impressive show, the Rockets were complicit in their own downfall by registering their lowest first-half point tally, 33, of the season.

One of the few bright spots for the Rockets was Dwight Howard's double-double - the 67th of his playoff career.

The 30-year-old finished up with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Harden led his team with 17 points - a disappointing return for a man who was named the Western conference's player of the month for April with a 38.4 PPG average yesterday.

The Rockets have a couple days to recoup before heading back into the lion's den once more on Tuesday for Game 2 - but the warning signs, that this could be a very short and sweet series indeed, are already there.

Do Houston have any chance of making a comeback against the Warriors?

Topics:
Draymond Green
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Stephen Curry
Dwight Howard
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Klay Thompson
James Harden

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