The Western Conference Finals series between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets was always going to be a feisty game due to the two teams talking about how they wanted to beat the other all season long, and with just over a minute into the game, we got a taste of just that.
With 67 seconds gone in Game 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston on Monday night, Warriors' Draymond Green picked up a technical foul after he shoved Rockets' James Harden inside the paint underneath the basket.
Harden had driven to the basket and scored over Kevin Durant just moments before, and Green responded by throwing a forearm into the neck of the Rockets guard, shoving him backward. As a result, he picked up a technical for the unnecessary shove. This was his second technical of this year's playoffs.
You might that things would have got even worse throughout the rest of the game for the Warriors star from here, but that wasn't the case. Green kept his emotions in check to avoid picking up another technical, finishing the game with five points, nine rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Golden State ended up winning the game 119-106 against Houston last night, meaning they take a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals series, and another step closer towards making their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance. Durant was the star man on the court for the Warriors, as he finished with 37 points.
After the game, Green acknowledged his push on Harden in the opening minutes of Game 1 and admitted that he was over-enthusiastic about the push regarding the situation, calling it a product of the team’s over-eagerness.
Green said to NBA TV: "I was a bit overzealous, a bit amped up, but I'd rather that anyway than coming out flat."
Green has a history of being unable to keep his emotions in check, but he was able to do just that last night in Game 1 against Houston, which can only mean good things on the court moving forward throughout the rest of this series for Golden State.
Game 2 between the Warriors and the Rockets takes place later this week on Wednesday from the Toyota Center in Houston once more.
Listen HERE to episode two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein.
Enjoy, and please subscribe for all future episodes.